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Worldwide Personal & Entry Level Storage Market Sees Moderate Shipment Growth in the Second Quarter of 2014, According to IDC

The worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) market was up by 1.5% year over year with almost 17 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2014 (2Q14), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Personal and Entry Level Storage Tracker. Shipment values increased along with unit shipments by 1.8% from a year ago to $1.5 billion.

"The personal and entry-level storage market finished the second quarter of 2014 with 16.9 million units shipped and year-over-year growth of 1.5%, the first time since the second quarter of 2013 that overall market shipments have experienced a year-over-year increase," said Liz Conner, Research Manager, Storage Systems. "Driving this growth were the entry-level segment of the market, which primarily targets SOHO and SMB buyers, and the higher capacity/higher speed personal storage devices. The increased interest in both the entry level and higher-end portion of the personal storage market can be attributed to improved customer awareness of data storage, increased vendor offerings, shifting expectations of data storage, improved marketing/customer education, and average selling prices that more closely align with personal storage than enterprise storage."

Hard disk drive (HDD) vendors continued to increase their share of PELS units shipped, gaining 3.3 points year over year to grow to 77.6% market share in 2Q14. Although the entry-level storage market continued to be dominated by the mainstream non-HDD vendors with 58.8% unit shipment market share, their market share was down 13.0 points year over year.

Market Highlights

  • The entry-level storage market continued to experience significant growth in unit shipments this quarter, up by 20.3% year over year, based primarily on the 4-bay market. The entry-level market continued to see strong growth in the higher bay devices (5, 6, 8, and 12 bays), which saw units shipped grow by 22.6% year over year.
  • In 2Q14 the personal storage market continued to see a decline in the growth for dual-bay products, where unit shipments were down by -9.9% year over year. Single-bay personal storage devices remained the most popular choice, representing 97.4% of the personal storage units shipped in 2Q14.
  • Personal storage represents 98.7% of the PELS unit shipped and 86.0% of the shipment value in 2Q14.

Technology Highlights

  • Form Factor – The 3.5" form factor saw a decline of -8.5% year over year in units shipped, while the 2.5" form factor saw units shipped up by 4.4% year over year. The 3.5" form factor continued to give way to the more portable 2.5" form factor, with 3.5" losing 2.2 percentage points of unit market share year over year in 2Q14.
  • Capacity Range – End users continue to migrate to higher capacity points to meet storage needs. In the 3.5" personal storage market, 2 terabyte (TB) devices represented 45.2% of unit shipments in the quarter. For the 2.5" personal storage market, 1TB devices captured 58.2% market share. For the entry-level market, capacity ranges are more varied due to multiple bays and vendors' ability to partially populate devices. However, 4TB devices hold the most market share with 26.3% of units shipped.
  • Interface – USB continued to be the interface of choice for the PELS market. Its units shipped were up by 1.5% year over year this quarter. Ethernet remained the interface of choice for the entry-level market, capturing 93.8% of market share. Thunderbolt continued to ramp up, posting a year-over-year shipment growth rate of 10%, albeit off a very small base.

Worldwide Personal and Entry-Level Storage Shipment Value, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Second Quarter 2014 (shipment value in $M)

Vendor Type        








2Q13 Market



HDD Vendors         $988       64.9%       $891       59.65%       10.8%
Mainstream non-HDD Vendors         $335       22.0%       $408       27.30%       -17.9%
Others         $198       13.0%       $195       13.05%       1.7%
Total         $1,521       100.0%       $1,494       100.00%       1.8%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal and Entry Level Storage Tracker, August 2014

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic showing worldwide market share (based on revenue) by vendor type for the previous five quarters is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on


  • The PELS market includes storage products and solutions with a single bay through twelve bay configurations that are manufactured and marketed for individuals, small offices/home offices, and small businesses.
  • IDC defines Personal Storage as having 1-2 bays and Entry-Level Storage as having 3-12 bays.
  • IDC defines an HDD vendor as a vendor who manufactures their own hard disk drive, in addition to branded external storage.
  • IDC defines a Mainstream non-HDD vendor as a major PELS vendor who does not manufacture its own hard disk drives.
  • Data for the PELS market is reported for calendar periods.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Personal and Entry Level Storage Tracker, please contact Liz Conner ([email protected]) and Jingwen Li ([email protected]).

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. In 2014, IDC celebrates its 50th anniversary of providing strategic insights to help clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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