In the next few years, solid-state drives (SSDs) could dominate the global storage industry.
This is the view of the Ghassan Azzi, Sales Director of Western Digital.
The company offers a wide range of HDD and SSD products that cover the needs of both everyday and high-performance users.
Azzi said that Western Digital has noted a significant increase in the sale of portable SSDs, particularly in Europe, where quarter on quarter sales doubled in Q4 of 2019.
The growing interest in SSDs is being driven by successful marketing and information campaigns, as well as demand from various quarters, according to Azzi.
The increased size of photos with higher resolutions and a shift to 4K resolution video are two of the major contributors.
This type of content does not only require more capacity but also benefits from higher transfer speeds.
Another key player is the expanding gaming industry, where gamers often require high-capacity, high-performance storage for the optimal experience.
Western Digital even offers storage solutions dedicated to gaming in the form of its WD Black range.
The future of hard drives
Although conventional hard drives generally offer larger amounts of space for storage at a more affordable price, the management of media is made cumbersome by much slower transfer speeds and older interfaces.
Azzi guessed that the HDD business will see a decline in the next two to three years as SSD demand grows.
“Who would want to buy a hard drive in three years from today?” Azzi asked.
He reiterated that the transition will not be immediate, however.
“We believe hard drives are going to continue for now. It’s not that suddenly you’re not going to see hard drives in the market, but the trend has started to shift towards portable SSDs.”
Azzi explained that the only obstacle that remained for further SSD adoption is pricing.
“Performance is there, the technology is there, the capacity is there. What is remaining? Basically, it’s the cost,” Azzi stated.
“The faster it will be affordable to the end-user, the faster the transition will happen.”
“Eventually, hard drives will be diluted,” he added.
More expectations of big SSD growth
Azzi believes it is likely that soon no laptops will ship with hard drives, either.
“We had a statistic that came out in 2019 that said 68% of all new notebooks are going to come with an SSD and not a hard drive.”
The trend is not limited to computers, however, as both next-generation gaming consoles from Microsoft and Sony have been confirmed to ship with SSDs.
In 2019, the total SSD market value was just under $35 billion. This number is expected to increase to over $80 billion by 2025.