Analyst: Hard drive prices won't be back to normal until 2014

In the fall of 2011, PC hard drive prices skyrocketed. This was due mostly to the lack of supply following some massive floods in Thailand, which caused a number of hard drive factories to shut down their operations for weeks. Prices for hard drives went up by as much as 40 percent at one point.

Things have improved for the hard drive industry as the flooding in Thailand has subsided and the factories are returning to normal operations. However, prices for hard drives have continued to be much higher than they were prior to the flooding. In a recent press release from analyst firm IHS iSuppli, the company said that the average price for a hard drive was $66 in the fourth quarter of 2011. The organization predicts that price will go down to just $65 in the second quarter of 2012.

This elevated price point is happening even though production of hard drives is expected to reach pre-flood levels by the third quarter of 2012. So why haven't we seen a bigger price drop? According to IHS iSuppli storage systems analyst Fang Zhang, the biggest reason is the hard drive business is now controlled by a only a small amount of companies. He states.

With the two mega-mergers between Seagate/Samsung and Western Digital/Hitachi GST, the two top suppliers held 85 percent of HDD market share in the first quarter 2012. This was up from 62 percent in the third quarter of 2011, before the mergers. The concentration of market share has resulted in an oligarchy where the top players can control pricing and are able to keep ASPs at a relatively high level.

The report claims that ultimately, PC hard drive prices won't go down to normal until sometime in 2014.

Source: IHS iSuppli

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price fixing at it's finest. Why is it that other companies with plants in the region, like Nikon, have recovered, or are almost fully recovered, but hard drive manufacturers are claming another 2 years? I find this hard to believe. This really sucks, as I really need to upgrade my storage array within the next 6-12 months, plus create a backup copy (14TB is costly)

According to CamelEgg which tracks prices for Newegg, a Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache was around $120 USD in February, 2010. The lowest price was $75 USD in August, 2011 before shooting up to $250 in November. The current price is $120 USD. While $120 is still a slightly higher than what I was willing to spend, it is still much lower than the peak (and thank goodness I didn't have a major hard drive crash).

It should be noted that at one point, even a 500 GB drive was hitting $180 USD until it returned to $80 USD. It would be interesting to see how prices will drop on the SSD to put downward pressure on the slowed HDs.

Personally I think this is just being used as a dragged out excuse to get away with price fixing.

But in the long run they will lose out, because SSD drive prices are dropping drastically lately, and they will lose sales to SSD.

I have seen some 240gb SSD's on sales after rebates for $180.

Bought my 1TB HDD which can fit into my pocket for £63 before the floods. It went up to £120 after the floods and is now at £85.

Also didn't someone realise that they were increasing the price way too much? Part of some investigation... -.-

My external crashed. Blaaah... I need another one!!!! I bought the fantom gforce/3 1.5 very fast drive indeed for USB 3.0, but pity it had to go... Was 60 dollars at biglots, now I'm seeing it for 120. how dare it double in price!

Good point about SSD, I've had a 120GB Intel and couldn't be happier, absolutely awesome performance and durability so far.

If not for SSDs, the Hard drive makers would really be able to stick it to the consumer.

Say what you will, but back in the days a little regulation, monopolies like the phone company worked well for the people, you had good phone calls, competent free service and all for a low price, deregulate and you get what we have now, substandard everything and high prices. Orwell was right.

Hahaiah said,
Good point about SSD, I've had a 120GB Intel and couldn't be happier, absolutely awesome performance and durability so far.

If not for SSDs, the Hard drive makers would really be able to stick it to the consumer.

Say what you will, but back in the days a little regulation, monopolies like the phone company worked well for the people, you had good phone calls, competent free service and all for a low price, deregulate and you get what we have now, substandard everything and high prices. Orwell was right.


I don't get why people are so kool-aided over "free" market, we need a social market, regulated where needed and core infrastructures need to be maintained either by State or if private corporations do the job, be regulated as has been said.

I'm pretty sure a lot of people want to call me a Commie now lol, which I find hilarious and won't even answer, so if you want an easy go at me, come at me boys!

GS:mac

Solid State will become the norm before 2014 and prices will fall on BOTH by then, if mechanical is still massively produced.

should mechanical stay high, PC manufacturers will go SSD.. Most are doing a combo now anyway. They have been out long enough to optimize manufacturing and squash production defects, now with pricing falling to competitive levels and storage capacity doubling on a regular basis it won't be long until loading times & mechanical drives are a thing of the past.

Besides fans, this is the LAST mechanical thing in an electronic computer that dont need to be... ahhahaha.

This crisis has been extended more than we wanted to, if we take into consideration what softpedia has been posting lately, it makes sense. How come WD and Seagate spend billions of dollars if their economy was bad?

For example, Seagate's income was 1200%:
http://news.softpedia.com/news...reases-by-1200-274596.shtml

WD spent billions of dollars in repurchase of their stock:
http://news.softpedia.com/news...-9-Billion-USD-271159.shtml

Furthermore they got to sell 60 bucks Hard Drives to 100 dollars.

That's not all, if you keep reading you can see that WD made a very good move and purchased lots of Hard Drive factories, so they could monopolize the whole industry and account for more than 80% of the world marketshare.

Now, prices need to go down, because SSD is threatening the market, with OCZ already getting the 0.6$ per GB, things may look grim to Hard Drives in the next two years.

My 5.5 TB are getting filled up, but I don't know what this is about.
You can definitely shop HDDs for pre-flood prices again, the only impact still visible is that local stores might still be higher priced (especially the likes of Media Markt/Saturn (Germany, EU, HK) who milk buyers that seriously believe they are cheap... Salespersons "flood" them (no pun intended, or is it) and they (customers) are "happy". Also, they don't even offer 3 tibby drives right now, it's ridiculous.)

GS:ios

Edited by Glassed Silver, Jun 11 2012, 3:37pm :

Prices have not subsided down yet. The roosters are still milking hard on us cows and sooner or later, we won't have enough milk to be milked. Soon they will go after our milk sacks till they burst then poof.

So hard drives are one of those things that get massively more expensive rather than just harder to source? Imagine if prices if Toyota's doubled after the Japan tsunami

Does it really matter? With ultrabooks, SSDs are becoming the primary method of storage and will be pushing the relevance of magnetic HDDS for local storage farther and farther away.

dagamer34 said,
Does it really matter? With ultrabooks, SSDs are becoming the primary method of storage and will be pushing the relevance of magnetic HDDS for local storage farther and farther away.

SSDs are only good for speed; as far as storage space goes they are pathetic in comparison both size and price wise. I don't see that changing for a very long time.

Skyfrog said,

SSDs are only good for speed; as far as storage space goes they are pathetic in comparison
both size and price wise. I don't see that changing for a very long time.


Agreed ... SSDs are still too expensive for the amount of capacity you get. The only thing SSDs
are really suitable for at this time, are for installing your operating system and applications.
For general file storage, especially very large files such as videos, adding a higher capacity
secondary hard drive is what I usually recommend.

That also helps if your OS is damaged and needs to be re-installed. While you can reformat
your system drive (be it a SSD or mechanical HDD) ready to re-install the OS, at least all of
the stuff you want to keep is still safe on the secondary hard drive.

Edited by DJGM, Jun 11 2012, 2:38am :

DJGM said,

Agreed ... SSDs are still too expensive for the amount of capacity you get. The only thing SSDs
are really suitable for at this time, are for installing your operating system and applications.
For general file storage, especially very large files such as videos, adding a higher capacity
secondary hard drive is what I usually recommend.

That also helps if your OS is damaged and needs to be re-installed. While you can reformat
your system drive (be it a SSD or mechanical HDD) ready to re-install the OS, at least all of
the stuff you want to keep is still safe on the secondary hard drive.

Yeah, it really goes without saying what you said is the obvious thing to do (for those who want SSD's speed of course)

but personally i still prefer regular hard drives simply because with my cash low when i buy a drive i am going with the more storage space as storage space is more important to me than drive speed even though i hear SSD drives are a huge boost in loading speed vs regular hard drives.

but when a decent SSD drive is still comfortably over $100 it seems i would rather just get a 2-3TB hard drive for that price. but if i had some case to burn i would definitely pick up a SSD drive.

ThaCrip said,

Sure, but SSD drives will never be able to match storage space/price of a regular hard drive anytime soon which still makes regular hard drives far more appealing if you got a lot of data.


And that I agree.

this is just retarded. Production is back up. this is just self imposed by the companies. But I just will not buy a harddrive until the 2tb come down to under 100$ USD again. Though I am in need on of one i only have a quarter left of one before im fulll.

Man, that's pretty messed up. I'm glad I got a 1 TB and a 3 TB (from my brother in Japan), so I won't really have a need for any space for some time.

I am so freaking happy that I bought the 3 x 2TB EARS when I did. I got them for $69 each then or somewhere there. Those same drives are $119 now but at one point they shot up to $319 EACH!!! I should have sold them then and be RICH! I want some 3-4TB ones now so guess i'll be keeping my eye out for that.

(hmm, pricing came down a lot since last check, 3TB drives now at $160 Last time i looked those were $399!)

SHoTTa35 said,
I am so freaking happy that I bought the 3 x 2TB EARS when I did. I got them for $69 each then or somewhere there. Those same drives are $119 now but at one point they shot up to $319 EACH!!! I should have sold them then and be RICH! I want some 3-4TB ones now so guess i'll be keeping my eye out for that.

(hmm, pricing came down a lot since last check, 3TB drives now at $160 Last time i looked those were $399!)

I remember getting 2TB drives for $69 back in March 2011. They've come back down to $90 or so on a good deal. I had hoped to be buying 3TB drives for $69 by this time.

I bought a couple of 3TB off Amazon for 139 each a month or so ago. The prices dive up and down pretty drastically but if you're lucky enough to catch it low you can get some decent deals.

TIP: Don't login to your account when shopping prices, they will "mysteriously" jump in price more if you do.

Hahaiah said,
I bought a couple of 3TB off Amazon for 139 each a month or so ago. The prices dive up and down pretty drastically but if you're lucky enough to catch it low you can get some decent deals.

TIP: Don't login to your account when shopping prices, they will "mysteriously" jump in price more if you do.


Can you prove this? I wonder if it is illegal practice. People say that airline ticket sites do this.

they had a article like this a while ago that said 2013 but apparently it's changed.

either way, ill just wait it out as i got 250GB/400GB/1TB/2TB/200GB for a total of 3.85TB in internal storage plus another 320GB (2x 160GB) external and maybe a bit outside of that so basically about 4.2TB total and while my 2TB only has about 335GB on it free i could free up a good 50-100GB if i needed to pretty quickly mostly because i am somewhat using some of the files as a backup from other drives on my PC.

so basically even though i download and keep a fair amount of stuff i should be good for at least another year-ish and probably more.

Analyst is an idiot, prices are back to normal here $99 for a 3tb WD.

i don't know where you live but Newegg (which is USA) has 3TB drives for in the $170-180 and their prices are competitive. so unless you got some connections i doubt you can buy a 3TB hard drive for $99 right now.

The manufacturers are milking the duration of the 'disaster prices'

Exactly. you know they will abuse that as long as they can but they can screw themselves as i won't pay more than $100-ish (maybe $120 max) for a hard drive as PC technology in general is not as expensive as it used to be. as that $100 range seems to be the sweet spot as you can get a lot of storage without killing your $$$.

but the prices of hard drives peaked at roughly 2.5times (maybe a hair over) what they where as i paid $80 for a 2TB and that same 2TB was like $200-ish at one point (on newegg) and currently is back to $120 as i type this.

kazuyenPH said,
Yes to Monopoly!

Exactly, back when we had a dozen different companies making drives this wouldn't happen, now that we are down to basically two they can set the prices however they like.

kazuyenPH said,
Yes to Monopoly!

I have a bad feeling that CPU, and graphic card chip will become monopoly sooner or later.

kazuyenPH said,
Yes to Monopoly!

I have a bad feeling that CPU, and graphic card chip will become monopoly sooner or later.

kazuyenPH said,
Yes to Monopoly!

I have a bad feeling that CPU, and graphic card chip will become monopoly sooner or later.

The manufacturers are milking the duration and taking advantage of the 'disaster prices'

Edited by Caleo, Jun 11 2012, 12:27am :

Daniel_Pooh said,
Analyst is an idiot, prices are back to normal here $99 for a 3tb WD.

Define "here". The cheapest 3TB drives on Newegg are $165 and they aren't exactly top quality.

Daniel_Pooh said,
Analyst is an idiot, prices are back to normal here $99 for a 3tb WD.

Uh, wheres 'here'? Because the going rate anywhere on the net is ~$150+.

If you can really get them for $100 and you're not just making **** up, I might want you to pick up a stack of them for me for a cut for you.

Now, 2TB for $100, yeah, you can get that. But not 3.

episode said,

Uh, wheres 'here'? Because the going rate anywhere on the net is ~$150+.

If you can really get them for $100 and you're not just making **** up, I might want you to pick up a stack of them for me for a cut for you.

Now, 2TB for $100, yeah, you can get that. But not 3.

I remember the time you could get a 2TB drive for $70. Those were the days...

episode said,

Uh, wheres 'here'? Because the going rate anywhere on the net is ~$150+.

If you can really get them for $100 and you're not just making **** up, I might want you to pick up a stack of them for me for a cut for you.

Now, 2TB for $100, yeah, you can get that. But not 3.

It was on sale actually, but yea 2tb for $100 was still the normal price before the flood so its back to normal now.

Daniel_Pooh said,

It was on sale actually, but yea 2tb for $100 was still the normal price before the flood so its back to normal now.

Hardly. I bought two 2tb Western Digitals on 28Mar11 for 79.99 each (not on sale/NewEgg). Today, the same exact hard drive are 119.99 on NewEgg.

Back to normal....right.

Daniel_Pooh said,

It was on sale actually, but yea 2tb for $100 was still the normal price before the flood so its back to normal now.

No. The week before the flood I purchased a couple 2TB drives for $59.99 on newegg.

Daniel_Pooh said,
Analyst is an idiot, prices are back to normal here $99 for a 3tb WD.

Tbh they didn't go up that much. Deals could still be found if you looked for them. and Yes they seem back to normal here in the UK. we've had a £20+ price drop on SSD's making me want to get another one for my laptop.

mbowman said,
Tbh they didn't go up that much. Deals could still be found if you looked for them. and Yes they seem back to normal here in the UK.

That simply isn't true. Prices shot up dramatically - especially in casual consumer stores like PC World - and even online anything below 3TB is priced considerably higher than before the Thailand floods. The situation is getting better but it's not good, especially when warranties were slashed to cut costs.

mbowman said,

Tbh they didn't go up that much. Deals could still be found if you looked for them. and Yes they seem back to normal here in the UK. we've had a £20+ price drop on SSD's making me want to get another one for my laptop.

2TB drives went from $59-79 to over $200. Thats dramatic.

And SSDs were not affected.

brent3000 said,
I remember getting a box of 40 2TB 3.5" drives for about $40-$50 ea (AUD)...
Then we took a Tsunami to the Thailand

What does a tsunami have to do with anything?

brent3000 said,
Then we took a Tsunami to the Thailand

Assuming I'm getting the correct joke.

Then I took an arrow to the knee (Skyrim videogame)

arclite01 said,
That sucks. Currently trying to remove some stuff from my 2TB drive but it won't last forever. Sooner or later I'll have to upgrade.

Consider yourself lucky! I have to live with one 160GB internal and one 160GB external drives.

wolftail said,

Consider yourself lucky! I have to live with one 160GB internal and one 160GB external drives.

arclite01 said,
That sucks. Currently trying to remove some stuff from my 2TB drive but it won't last forever. Sooner or later I'll have to upgrade.

Absolutely ridiculous, almost, to even have a hard drive that big anyway. I mean, what's the point? You KNOW the thing isn't going to last forever anyway and all you're going to do is make backups of the backups, if you REALLY want to be secure about saving the stuff of it.

8 freaking computers here and only 2 of them have 160GB drives. Others have 80GB and smaller. WAY more than enough space for me right there as I don't save squat on a computer! Will NEVER trust a computer/hard drive to save anything of any REAL importance on.

wolftail said,

Consider yourself lucky! I have to live with one 160GB internal and one 160GB external drives.

I've got a 20GB IDE drive with a 3GB swap partition... Has about 200MB free but does for what I need

cork1958 said,

Absolutely ridiculous, almost, to even have a hard drive that big anyway. I mean, what's the point? You KNOW the thing isn't going to last forever anyway and all you're going to do is make backups of the backups, if you REALLY want to be secure about saving the stuff of it.

8 freaking computers here and only 2 of them have 160GB drives. Others have 80GB and smaller. WAY more than enough space for me right there as I don't save squat on a computer! Will NEVER trust a computer/hard drive to save anything of any REAL importance on.


Wow.

Hey buddy, just because all you do is save a few unimportant 30 second porn clips on old low-end computers and nothing else doesn't mean everyone else is just as boring.

When he says "it won't last forever" he's talking about the free space still available on it, not the lifetime of the drive. I know... difficult to understand.

So, what's the point you ask? To save f**king files! What else? If you don't trust a computer to save important documents, high-res photos and HD videos on, then what else do you propose that one should use? Potatoes??

cork1958 said,

Absolutely ridiculous, almost, to even have a hard drive that big anyway. I mean, what's the point? You KNOW the thing isn't going to last forever anyway and all you're going to do is make backups of the backups, if you REALLY want to be secure about saving the stuff of it.

8 freaking computers here and only 2 of them have 160GB drives. Others have 80GB and smaller. WAY more than enough space for me right there as I don't save squat on a computer! Will NEVER trust a computer/hard drive to save anything of any REAL importance on.

We got a bad ass over here!

cork1958 said,

Absolutely ridiculous, almost, to even have a hard drive that big anyway. I mean, what's the point? You KNOW the thing isn't going to last forever anyway and all you're going to do is make backups of the backups, if you REALLY want to be secure about saving the stuff of it.

8 freaking computers here and only 2 of them have 160GB drives. Others have 80GB and smaller. WAY more than enough space for me right there as I don't save squat on a computer! Will NEVER trust a computer/hard drive to save anything of any REAL importance on.


Some people work with media, be it photos or videos. And I'm not talking about 30KB JPEGs and 30MB YouTube clips. Sit down.

cork1958 said,

Absolutely ridiculous, almost, to even have a hard drive that big anyway. I mean, what's the point? You KNOW the thing isn't going to last forever anyway and all you're going to do is make backups of the backups, if you REALLY want to be secure about saving the stuff of it.

8 freaking computers here and only 2 of them have 160GB drives. Others have 80GB and smaller. WAY more than enough space for me right there as I don't save squat on a computer! Will NEVER trust a computer/hard drive to save anything of any REAL importance on.

Do you have any idea how large high resolution uncompressed media files are?

cork1958 said,

Absolutely ridiculous, almost, to even have a hard drive that big anyway. I mean, what's the point? You KNOW the thing isn't going to last forever anyway and all you're going to do is make backups of the backups, if you REALLY want to be secure about saving the stuff of it.

8 freaking computers here and only 2 of them have 160GB drives. Others have 80GB and smaller. WAY more than enough space for me right there as I don't save squat on a computer! Will NEVER trust a computer/hard drive to save anything of any REAL importance on.

With that little of hard drive space you must not even use your computer. My main drive is 120 GB and is full with installation of apps and games. My pictures and video are on another drive and is way more then 120 GB. Maybe you do not need that much space because you have your data and games spread across all 8 computers.