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A healthy spending environment, with businesses and users snatching up servers and PCs, last year pushed sales of hard disk drive units to grow by 25 percent unit in 2005. Leading the HDD charge, Seagate Technology shipped 108 million drives to customers and organizations, according to a new report by TrendFocus.

In the desktop HDD market, more than 214 million units were shipped in 2005. Seagate accounted for 28.3 percent of that total, improving upon a market share of 26.9 percent in 2004, per findings released Feb. 6 within TrendFocus’ Storage Demand Analysis System, CQ4 ’05 Quarterly Update.

While TrendFocus officials said Seagate’s $1.9 billion acquisition of Maxtor at the close of 2005 will play a major role in pushing Seagate’s 2006 HDD shipment numbers even higher, Maxtor did not fare too well on its own in 2005. The company saw its market share slip to less than 14 percent last year, dropping from a healthier share of 17.9 percent share in 2004.

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With a market share of 17.4 percent, Western Digital was a distant second in 2005. The company’s share decreased slightly, by 0.05 percent, from TrendFocus’ 2004 findings. Behind Western Digital was Hitachi Global Storage Technologies with 15.4 of market share, which was almost virtually no change from the previous year; Maxtor; Toshiba, at 8.9 percent, which was a slight increase from its 7.2 percent share in 2004; Samsung, at 8.7 percent, which was up from 7.6 percent the previous year; and Fujitsu, at 6.3 percent.

All other HDD vendors combined for just 1.2 percent of market share in 2005, noted TrendFocus.

The mushrooming popularity of notebook PC sales remains white-hot, as evidenced by a spike in 2.5-inch HDD shipments, which grew to 77 million, a substantial 45 percent increase over 2004 shipments.

In the same time frame, enterprise HDD shipments did not come close to such a massive surge. The TrendFocus report said that enterprise-based HDD only grew by 11 percent and 26 million units.

The proliferation of consumer electronics devices, such as iPods, DVRs and game consoles, contributed to more than 16 percent of all HDD shipments in 2005. Shipments accounted for slightly less than the 20 percent forecast, and the drop-off is attributed to Apple’s decision to move away from 1-inch-based hard drives for its iPod mini business.

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