Demand from all-in-one PCs combined with requirements for
lower power consumption and a thinner, smaller storage
alternative to existing 3.5-inch hard disc drives (HDD)
will help create a viable market for
2.5-inch HDDs in desktops beginning next year.
Worldwide shipments of 2.5-inch HDDs to all-in-one PCs are
forecast to reach approximately 1 million units in 2013, up
from virtually zero this year, according to an
IHS iSuppli Storage Space Market Brief from information
and analytics provider IHS (NYSE: IHS). Shipments then will
increase to 3 million units the following year and rise
steadily until they hit some 7 million units in 2016, as
shown in the figure attached. The HDD market for all-in-one
PCs will continue to be dominated by 3.5-inch discs, with
shipments by 2016 estimated at 31 million units, but growth
will be much slower for the segment during the same period
than for 2.5-inch drives.
The 2.5-inch HDD is used widely today in a variety of
products, including mobile or notebook PCs, external hard
disk drives and in enterprise applications such as servers
and storage systems. Their advantages over conventional
3.5-inch HDDs include a smaller form factor, lower power
consumption and higher endurance.
Of late, however, the 2.5-inch drives have also become
attractive and desirable for desktop PCs, especially among
"With a maximum capacity of 1 terabyte, 2.5-inch HDDs
are proving very attractive to PC makers for use in their
next-generation all-in-one designs," said Fang Zhang,
analyst for storage systems at IHS. "Multiple
all-in-one PCs have the potential to adopt 2.5-inch HDDs,
including the iMac from Apple Inc., TouchSmart from
Hewlett-Packard, Series 7 from Samsung Electronics,
IdeaCentre from Lenovo, Top Touchscreen from Asus Eee and
all-in-one desktops from Vizio and Acer."
All-in-one PCs for all
With demand for all-in-one desktop PCs expected to grow,
future market prospects for the 2.5-inch HDD appear
encouraging, IHS believes. Compared to conventional desktop
PCs, all-in-ones possess superior features and performance,
brought about by advances in microprocessors and the
thinner HDD size. As such, all-in-one desktop PCs can
extend the markets for 2.5-inch HDDs beyond their current
areas in notebooks, external hard drives and the
enterprise, allowing the thinner and smaller drives to
penetrate the desktop space.
Speed and pricing challenges
Two disadvantages of the 2.5-inch HDD are speed and price.
Most 2.5-inch drives typically run at 5,400 revolutions per
minute (rpm), compared to 7,200 rpm for the 3.5-inch. The
2.5-inch also sells at slightly higher prices than the
3.5-inch as a whole, although the gap in price can be
narrowed if 2.5-inch volumes become significant.
Nonetheless, enough positive factors are present to push
growth overall for 2.5-inch drives. As a result, the
2.5-inch will represent approximately 4 percent of the
all-in-one desktop PC market by next year, and then go on
to account for 18 percent of the all-in-one market by 2016.
And as capacity and speed continue to improve and costs go
down, the 2.5-inch HDD is expected to take share away from
3.5-inch HDDs in the traditional desktop PC market, IHS
"The 2.5-inch hard drive market may enjoy about four
to five years of uninterrupted growth before low-priced,
high-density solid state drives become more
competitive," Zhang said.
About IHS (www.ihs.com)
IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of information,
insight and analytics in critical areas that shape
today's business landscape. Businesses and governments
in more than 165 countries around the globe rely on the
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IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly
traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005.
Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS employs more
than 5,500 people in more than 30 countries around the
IHS is a registered trademark of IHS Inc. All other company
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owners. © 2012 IHS Inc. All rights reserved.