Article from Digitimes... Seagates input on HDD replacement.... yes I realize it may be biased :-)
SSDs not a simple solution for replacing HDDs: Q&A with Seagate executive
Max Wang, Taipei; Adam Hwang, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 5 January 2016]
During a Digitimes interview, Global Sales and Operations senior vice president B.S. Teh for Seagate Technology indicated that it is not simple for SSDs (solid-state drives) to replace HDDs (hard disk drives), simply because SSD prices are three times that of HDD prices for applications targeting consumer electronics and possibly more than 10 times for applications for enterprise storage.
Q: As slow growth in global PC demand and the increasing use of SSDs has affected the business operations of HDD vendors, how does Seagate cope with the impact?
A: Although global HDD shipments will decrease from 550-600 million drives in 2014 to nearly 500 million units in 2015, total storage capacity will increase from nearly 500 exabytes (109 gigabyte) to 530-550 exabytes. While having stepped into SSDs with initial SSD models launched in 2013, Seagate focuses on the HDD business and develops models featuring high storage capacity and efficiency as well as low cost, for which Seagate aims to reduce the average shipment price for HDDs to one-tenth of that for SSDs. Seagate has been decreasing its reliance on PC-use HDDs through increased shipments for applications for cloud computing-based storage, consumer electronics, security surveillance and enterprise storage, with the revenue proportion for PC-use HDDs slipping from nearly 63% in 2010 to an estimated nearly 43% in 2015. For the PC-use market segment, Seagate will launch 1TB HDD models for use in notebooks in 2016.
Q: Apart from PC-use HDDs, how does Seagate look to global demand for storage from consumer electronics users and enterprises?
A: HDDs used in consumer electronics take up nearly 15% of Seagate's consolidated revenues at present. In a bid to enhance marketing of such HDDs, Seagate has acquired LaCie and Lyve. As demand for enterprise storage is much larger than that for consumer electronics storage in terms of capacity and shipment value, Seagate has invested US$700-800 million annually in R&D for software and hardware used in enterprise storage.
Q: In the market segment of enterprise storage, system vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and Dell procure HDDs for use in servers or storage equipment, but some of enterprises have skipped such vendors and acquired storage equipment through service providers, cloud computing service operators or ODMs/OEMs, has such change in business model influenced HDD vendors?
A: My personal opinion is that the influence is in order visibility and ordered volume, because orders released by system vendors are clearly visible with shipments able to be estimated while orders released by ODMs/OEMs or service providers are more likely to fluctuate and ordered volumes are relatively difficult to estimate. For shipments to the latter, Seagate has strictly controlled inventory level to minimize risks.
Q: How does Seagate view Dell's merger acquisition of EMC at US$33.15 per share for a total price of US$67 billion?
A: Both Dell and EMC are Seagate's clients and Seagate is happy to see the merger. Both companies' complementary resources can be integrated and the operational scale can be enlarged via the merger.
Q: Market analysts think that China-based Tsinghua Unigroup's stake investment in Western Digital will impact Seagate's business in the China market, what are your opinions?
A: Seagate is not worried about any negative impact related to the investment stake on Seagate's business cooperation with existing China-based clients. The reason is simple, that is, under free market competition, users are unwilling to concentrate HDD procurement in a single supplier no matter who invests in Western Digital.
Q: How do you view development in the Taiwan storage market?
A: There have been significant changes in the Taiwan storage market, mainly a shift from PC-use demand to large demand by data centers as well as some Taiwan-based makers', including Foxconn Electronics, Quanta Computer and Inventec, having engaged in server production which has become important for Taiwan and is expected to be expanded steadily over the next 5-10 years.