Deployments in thin-and-light notebooks and hybrid PC tablets resulted in a huge boost in shipments of solid-state drives (SSDs) in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report from the market-research firm IHS. IHS reports that SSD shipments more than tripled in the January-to-March 2013 timeframe, compared to the same period in 2012.
More than 11.5 million SSDs destined for notebooks and tablets shipped during the first three months of this year, according to the IHS report. The actual number of SSDs sold in that period must be even higher, because the analysis doesn't take into account SSDs that consumers purchased to upgrade existing computers. On the other hand, IHS's numbers do include shipments of NAND flash components used with hard drives to form cache SSDs and hybrid hard drives.
"SSD attach rates climbed in ultrathin/Ultrabook PCs where SSDs are the de facto storage medium," said IHS analyst Fang Zhang, "and also in PC tablets where productivity options differentiate them from media tablets."
Shipments of mechanical hard drives, meanwhile, fell seven percent in the first quarter, dropping to 135.7 million units in the first quarter of 2013, compared to 145.5 million units in the same period last year. IHS blames the drop in demand on weak sales of consumer PCs. Hard disk drives are actually selling much better in the enterprise segment, where quarterly shipments increased to 16.0 million units, compared to 14.9 million units in the same period last year.
IHS named Samsung, Intel, SanDisk, Seagate, and Hitachi as the big winners in the SSD market in the first quarter, crediting their strong enterprise storage strategies. Western Digital held onto its top position in the hard disk market for the fourth year in a row, beating out rivals Seagate and Hitachi.
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