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The hard disk drive market recorded growth of 17.1% in unit shipments, to 653.5 million in 2010, according to a report from The Information Network, The Hard Disk Drive Industry: Market Analysis and Processing Trends.

Market share of hard disk drive manufacturers:

2009 Market Share (Units)

2010 Market Share (Units)

Seagate (STX)

31.4%

29.9%

Western Digital (WDC)

29.6%

31.2%

Hitachi (HIT)

16.4%

17.2%

Toshiba/Fujitsu

12.6%

10.9%

Samsung (OTC:SSNLF)

9.2%

9.7%

Others

0.8%

1.2%

Total Units

558.3 million

653.5 million

Source: The Information Network

The market in 2010, as in 2009, was about product mix. Western Digital, which has focused on non-desktop applications, primarily the 2.5-inch form factor for mobile and CE, took over the lead in 2010 from Seagate, which has focused on the desktop and the enterprise markets. In 2010, mobile PCs grew 29% while desktop PCs grew only 8%.

In the mobile HDD sector, Western Digital led the 2010 market with a 27.5% share followed by Hitachi Global Storage Technologies with a 26.0% share and Seagate with a 20.4% share.

Media tablets, already cannibalizing netbooks and smartbooks, will impact hard disk drive sales as units contain Solid State Drives (SSDs) instead of HDDs.

More than 54 million media tablets will sell in 2011, each containing a solid state drive instead of a hard disk drive. The HDD market, already reeling from more than 17 million media tablets sold in 2010, will be impacted by the displacement of HDD-based notebook PCs by media tablets.

In 2011, media tablets are expected to penetrate the entire global community, thereby impacting PC sales and hence HDDs sales in other geographic regions. In 2014, according to the report, the Asia-Pacific region will account for more than 50% of media tablet sales.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Western Digital Wins Hard Disk Drive Battle in 2010