Hard drive makers are seeing solid growth in demand, but are facing tougher competition and eroding margins.
Market research firm iSuppli reports that hard drive shipments increased by 12.2% to more than 114 million units in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis. The shipments were down 4.7% from 118 million units in Q4, which was about in line with seasonal patterns of a strong fourth quarter and a following weak Q1.
iSuppli noted that the first quarter saw pricing pressure "due to intense competition and changing demand patterns". There are only six major hard drive manufacturers left (Seagate, WD, Hitachi GST, Samsung, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Excelstor) and these companies apparently are tied up in what the market research firm called a "vigorous competition" over mobile-PC storage.