Mechanical Hard Drives Still Dominate Notebook Market Over SSDs
IHS iSuppli says that, at least for now, the domination of traditional mechanical hard drives over solid-state storage in notebook computers is still assured.
In its latest report, the research firm said that despite the speed advantages of SSDs over their mechanical brethren, buyers still prefer to get more storage space in exchange for somewhat slower performance. It doesn’t hurt that laptops running traditional hard drives are generally cheaper than the SSD-powered ones.
It estimated that the biggest proportion of the laptop market at present are mobile computers that have 500GB+ hard drives priced from $450 to $550, making up 32% of all sales. This is followed by devices in the $350 to $450 range that are equipped with 320GB+ hard drives, which make up 26%. In contrast, the higher-end options that have 128GB SSDs or far larger hard drives priced at more than $900 made up only 2% of laptops shipped.
Intriguingly, IHS iSuppli pointed out that the competition between the storage technologies will intensify once the cost of notebooks with 64GB SSDs drop below $700. It may still not be enough for SSD-equipped laptops to completely outstrip sales of their mechanical competitors, particularly considering that the market for cheaper, high-storage laptops looks like an entrenched majority.
Still, any price cut on Apple’s MacBook Air could have significant implications on the market for HDD-based notebooks. A cheaper MacBook Air wouldn’t be able to dominate sales, but PC manufacturers using hard drives on their laptops may be forced to carry out their own price cuts to keep pace.