back to article HDD oligopoly to keep post-flood prices high till 2014

Hard disk drive prices are unlikely to return to pre-flood levels until 2014 despite rising production levels, thanks to surging demand, vendor lock-in and a market dominated by just two suppliers, according to analysts. IHS iSuppli’s latest Memory & Storage Market Brief report revealed that the average selling price (ASP) for …


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  1. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Meanwhile, quality has gone through the floor

    Warranty periods cut (so clearly they know they're rubbish), and so many more failures post 'infant death' than before.

    Yet nobody to run to, because they're both as bad as each other.

    SSDs appear to have more suppliers, but remain rather expensive and still have rather variable reliability.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The truth here is that the manufacturers found that despite the shortage of hard disks during the floods there were still plenty of people willing to pay over the odds for them.

      Once production got going again, instead of the price coming down it is being kept artificially high, firstly by saying there is still a shortage, and secondly, because they found out that people will still buy them at the higher cost.

      If they can sell them at that price, why bring the price down.

      Call me cynical, but there is not a shortage of computers on the market, so how can there be a shortage of had disks?

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Pope catholic etc...

    Good times to get rid of old data, compress more or look for alternatives to spinning rust.

    I suppose the NSA and assorted data-slurping-and-retaining agencies have no problem buy the things, being fed by taxes or your pension scheme.

  3. morbid


    I just got some new 3tb 7200rpm seagate barracuda drives from a newish egg place for $149. That's pretty close to pre-flood prices... though it was during a $10 off sale, plus a $20 off per drive coupon code. So $450 for 3 of those drives wasn't so bad....

    Even the new 4tb drive prices have been steadily declining, but they're not yet cost effective for me.

  4. K
    Thumb Down

    What a load of crap!

    If you shop around, you'll find lots of HDD's for pre-flood prices, or very close too. For example, My Seagate Momentus XT cost £80 pre-flood, a quick Google shows these are now selling for £74+, and the newer 750Gb version is available for £90+.

    1. Greg 16

      That's because you was paying too much before the floods! I was picking up 1Tb Samsung drives for a touch over £40 delivered. Nowhere is selling quality drives for anywhere near that right now. I'm also gutted that Samsung have stopped making drives, because they were the best drives available imo.

    2. JaimieV

      First, 2.5" drives weren't affected anything like as much as 3.5" prices.

      Second, you're comparing a Momentus XT which is a hybrid device, not a plain HDD.

  5. Ian K

    Demand is mainly driven by [...] a surge in PC sales on the back of the launch of Windows 8

    Good luck with that one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Demand is mainly driven by [...] a surge in PC sales on the back of the launch of Windows 8

      Yep, everyone wants to get their PC while it still comes with Windows 7 on it...

  6. Alex C

    Oligopoly is a great word

    But isn't cartel the correct one?

    1. Tom 38

      Re: Oligopoly is a great word

      I'm not saying cartel is incorrect, but oligopoly is perfectly fine. An oligopoly is a market that is dominated by a small number of sellers. Because of the small number of sellers, each seller can anticipate and be aware of the other sellers actions, and act appropriately for their business.

      A cartel on the other hand implies collusion between sellers in order to achieve a more favourable market for members of the cartel.

      1. Greg 16

        Re: Oligopoly is a great word

        It's alot easier and safer to set up a cartel when there's only 2 players - I wouldn't be at all surprised if we see a court case in 5 years time (but the ripped off customers never get a refund do they!)

      2. Kevin Turvey

        Re: Oligopoly is a great word

        It's all Greek to me. Hoi oligoi - the few, Hoi poloi - the masses, dont say "The hoi poloi" cos then you'd be saying "the the masses".

        Or something!

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          Re: Oligopoly is a great word

          Oligopoly is a great word...... to describe price gouging.

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Last chance for the big bucks

    While spinning storage prices remain high, SSD prices are following the traditional hardware trends downwards. At some point, a lot of domestic users will realise that the 1TB disk that came with their (pre-flood) machine is still 90% unused. Commercial users (who are more driven by TPS rates than GB capacity) will wake up to the fact that a mirrored pair of SSDs can outperform a much costlier disk array. More importantly, vendors and disti's will get higher margins from SSDs and therefore promote them instead of traditional solutions.

    So although there is a post-flood "catch-up" as people who deferred purchases earlier are now buying again, it's not guaranteed that this will continue. After those needs have been fulfilled, I expect that either the disk manufacturers will "blink" or their markets will remain in a somewhat shrivelled state (long time immersion in water has that effect) as the SSD makers slowly cruise past them, gesticulating as they go.

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