Hard drives still dominate SSDs in laptop market: report

Hard drives still dominate SSDs in laptop market: report

Summary: Despite sluggish sales and production, hard drives continue to dominate the laptop market when compared with the alternative: solid state drives.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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The hard disk drive industry has been going through a serious rough patch since the floods in Thailand last year, with residual effects likely hampering the market for the next several quarters.

Nevertheless, despite sluggish sales and production, hard drives continue to dominate the laptop market when compared with the alternative: solid state drives.

A new report from market intelligence firm IHS iSuppli found that notebook  models with a storage allotment larger than 500GB and priced from $450 to $550 accounted for the most market share at 32 percent.

Actually, solid state drives only accounted for a sliver of the market share, according to IHS analysts, as the remaining 3 percent of the pie went to notebooks with 128GB SSDs or high-end laptops priced at $900 or more.

Fang Zhang, an analyst for storage systems at IHS, argued in the report that laptop models that run on solid state drives, such as the MacBook Air, don't actually pose much of a threat to the HDD-based notebook market -- at least not yet.

SSD-equipped notebooks are faster, more lightweight and sport a thinner profile—some of the characteristics that make them popular and desirable to consumers—but they are also more expensive and feature less overall storage space. The price of a MacBook Air with just a 64GB solid state drive can reach $999, while an HDD-based notebook PC at that price can boast significantly larger storage space.

Nevertheless, higher-end tablets that are on par (if not better) than some laptops could present a shift in the market. In fact, IHS hints that change could happen in as quickly as a few months with the release of the Microsoft Surface tablet, although there wouldn't be numbers proving that theory one way or another until at least 2013.

Furthermore, IHS analysts also asserted it would also depend on the storage capacity options offered with the Microsoft Surface. Nevertheless, with the amount of personal cloud storage options available, local storage size might not be as much of a concern for consumers or enterprise customers in the near future. The real determinants would more likely be the price and the other features available on the tablet or laptop.

 

Topic: Hardware

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13 comments
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  • At the end of the day, storage is for storage

    Without a doubt, the best setup is a SSD for your OS and commonly used programs while leaving the bulk of the storage to cheaper HDDs. However, this is only really feasible for desktops, and generally techies that can set up such a system. For the common plebe, storage space is vastly more important than access time or anything else, so it's no surprise it's doing better.
    Aerowind
  • Maybe it has to do with SSDs still horrible reliability and cost

    You can get 2TB HDD drive for the price of an 80GB SSD. And the HDD has much better chance of surviving 5 years, vs the SSD who may or may not last 9 months.
    wackoae
    • if you buy crappy SSDs

      Horrible reliability? Probably, if you buy crappy SSDs. My 160 gig Intel X25-M G2 has been running in my main machine for over 2 years w/o any trouble.

      Your prices are WAY off. Quality 128 gig SSDs like the Crucial M4 and Samsung 830 are frequently available for $90 to $110.

      I've been running my Samsung 830 SSD on my laptop since February w/o trouble. I've got another that's a little newer and my dad's had one for a few months. We'll see.

      Performance of a good SSD is a real game changer. I'm not so concerned about reliability as long it's from a quality manufacturer (nothing from places like OCZ, Corsair or Mushkin). I don't trust stuff from Sandforce either.
      ac3_z
  • Reliability

    The reliability of SSD is what still puts me off more than the price.
    If I have to run an HD also then I might as well just run the HD.
    I do not reboot the desktop often and when I do this OEM Win 7 boots way fast.
    I would like an SSD for my laptop but there goes the reliability again.
    MoeFugger
  • They're big. They're cheap.

    They're big. They're cheap. Kinda hard to beat that.

    Sure, people like light and thin and fast - but not at the expense of not being able to store their photos and videos, and not for the higher price either.

    "Nevertheless, with the amount of personal cloud storage options available, local storage size might not be as much of a concern for consumers or enterprise customers in the near future."

    Hard to say. A lot of people still don't trust the cloud. And honestly, with all of the incidents surrounding the cloud, I don't really blame them. Despite all of the hype, it hasn't really met expectations.
    CobraA1
  • The SSD is a lot of marketing hype

    I would not buy drive that wasn't at least 500MB. In SSD that is just horrendously expensive. My last desktop drive was 2TB, and those are supplanting the many 1TB drives I've had for day to day use and duplicate backups for the last few years.

    I have a 320GB in a little laptop, and it's pretty much full. I just like to have my full music collection, a lot of work data, and about 30-40 movies loaded for trips. There's no way I would buy a new laptop with less than 500 and that would be tight.

    The only thing that really makes sense to me is a hybrid drive, but those are fairly unusual and the SSD portion tends to be quite tiny. I really think the standard laptop drive ought to be a 500GB HDD with onboard hybrid SSD of at least 32GB. You could even mirror the 32GB flash onto the HDD for backup if the SSD fails. Lots of space, speed, failsafe, reasonable cost. Guess what? They don't make it. Hybrid drives come usually with only 8GB of flash. Ugh.

    The storage industry needs to wake up a bit.
    ArtInvent
    • pricey

      Yeah, they are pricey but I've been totally fine on my desktop machine w/a 160 gig Intel X25-M G2 and a 1 TB hard drive for >2 years. I install most of my programs on the SSD.

      Seriously, once you switch to a good SSD, there's no looking back. It blows me away the # of people who don't get it.
      ac3_z
      • SSD on desktop: not convinced

        @ ac3_z: I finally jumped on the SSD train because a lot of users had said "there's no looking back". I used Crucial M4 128GB and 256GB. Mounted in 2 laptops and a desktop. I don't know if that has any impact but all the 3 machines are Linux that I made sure to follow all the tweaks for SSD.

        On the 2 laptops, the computer seems to be more responsive and there is no noise so I am happy it's a positive experience. It has been 2 months.

        On the desktop, same observation but the slight speed increase in disk access is not that impressive to the point to justify the cost of the SSD. The former HD was just a regular 7200 rpm 300 GB SATA drive. It's not that big of a deal to wait 5 or 10 more seconds to load an application.
        RelaxWalk
        • makes a huge difference for Windows machines

          The one w/an Intel X25-M G2 (my i7-860 desktop) is great. System doesn't get slow if I start paging to disk. Boot time is fast as well as time to being usable after boot. That was my 1st experience w/SSDs.

          I upgraded my Lenovo T61p and X100e from their slow 7200 rpm and 5400 rpm hard drives to Samsung 830 SSDs and it makes a HUGE difference, esp. in time to being usable after boot. It's given them both a new lease on life.
          ac3_z
          • the laptops

            Can't edit my post, but BTW, on both laptops, I'd imaged their hard drives and restored them onto SSDs, so everything is identical in terms of what's installed and running at startup.

            So, any perf increase I got wasn't due to a clean install of Windows and apps. I didn't do that.
            ac3_z
  • Good Idea

    "The only thing that really makes sense to me is a hybrid drive, but those are fairly unusual and the SSD portion tends to be quite tiny. I really think the standard laptop drive ought to be a 500GB HDD with onboard hybrid SSD of at least 32GB. You could even mirror the 32GB flash onto the HDD for backup if the SSD fails. Lots of space, speed, failsafe, reasonable cost."

    Agreed. :)
    lehnerus2000
  • Simply the price

    Not rocket science, it's the price for the size. Many newer SSDs aren't any less reliable than run of the mill hard drives. I have SSD drive on a netbook and that's about it. It's not for major storage just for use.
    Trict
  • Why the hard disc industry is too expensive at a P/E of 4

    - Thai floods have inflated the earnings of Seagate and Western Digital - the two main hard disc producers
    - Revenues, margins and earnings will all quickly come down due to ample inventory supplies
    - Current valuations will be possibly double or triple due to a rapid decrease in earnings and margins
    - Go short Seagate or Western Digital or stay out!

    http://www.tradingfloor.com/posts/why-the-hard-disc-industry-is-too-expensive-at-a-pe-of-4-1214783852
    Margarida Santo