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Seagate: Sales of solid-state hybrid drives suddenly pick up

Seagate Technology said this week that sales of its solid-state hybrid drives started to rapidly grow in the recent months. The company expects shipments of SSHD products to remain strong in the current quarter, which may be an indicator that at least some of the company’s customers are deploying hybrid storage devices.

In the prepared remarks about Seagate’s financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, which ended on the 3rd of October, 2014, Steven Luczo, chief executive officer of Seagate, said that shipments of the company’s SSHDs totaled over 12 million of units. Back in mid-September the company said that life-to-date shipments of its hybrid drives hit 10 million units milestone.

“We saw higher than expected sales of our client hybrid drives this quarter and we are planning for sequential growth again in the December quarter,” said Mr. Luczo during a quarterly conference call with investors and financial analysts. “To-date we have sold over 12 million hybrids reflecting the growing interest in hybrid in the marketplace.”

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Seagate introduced its first SSHD in 2010 (although it started to experiment with hybrid drives in 2007) and currently it ships third-generation solid-state hybrid drives. While in select cases solid-state hybrid drives offer performance comparable to that of solid-state drives, they cannot offer such levels of performance all the time. As a result, those, who want high performance, prefer SSDs; whereas those, who need maximum capacity, prefer traditional hard disk drives.

While Seagate remains optimistic about the future of SSHDs, it should be noted that in the coming years the company will significantly increase its investments in pure SSDs now that it has its own controllers for solid-state drives. Given the fact that the price of NAND flash is continuously decreasing, it is logical to expect popularity of solid-state drives to increase.

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KitGuru Says: It is remarkable that it took Seagate four years to ship 10 million of SSHDs and just less than a month to ship another two million units. Looks like a PC maker decided to use hybrid storage devices in order to gain a competitive advantage over rivals… 

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