back to article Western Digital laps Seagate

Western Digital reported a stonking first 2010 quarter yesterday, with record revenues and unit shipments, passing Seagate in drive unit production numbers for the first time. Revenues for the quarter were $2.6bn, 66 per cent up or a billion dollars higher than the year-ago quarter. Net income was $400m, a massive jump from …


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  1. fishman


    Congrats to WD - over the last few years they have really turned around and put out high quality drives. I've bought 12 of their drives over the last 3 years with no failures - which is much better than what I was getting with Seagate. And I've got more than a dozen of the infamous "Deathstar" drives dead in a cabinet somewhere.

  2. Sam Liddicott

    darn seagate

    I got a 1TB seagate USB drive from Maplin a short while back.

    it started going "clicky" very soon, but sadly had also gone over temperature while I was copying files to it (it was sat on top of another maxtpr USB hd) , so no I didn't feel like taking it back to maplin.

    This month I got a seagate 2TB USB disk and it is also clicking like mad (for 30 seconds at a time - no IO during that time).

    SMART reckons everything is fine, but I don't, it's back to the shop and no more seagate for me.

    The seagate online troubleshooter doesn't even mention clicking as a symptom, which makes me think it is a VERY bad problem.

    It is for me.

  3. techman

    Unit shipment not telling of whole story

    It would be pretty naive to base the success of a company purely on unit shipments. Let's take a closer look at WD and Seagate's quarterly performance:

    Units shipped: WD: 51.1M, Seagate 50.3M

    Revenue: WD: $2.6B, Seagate: $3.05B

    Net Profit: WD: $400M, Seagate: $518M

    Profit Margin: WD: 25.2% Seagate: 29.6%

    Now if you were a business, which one would you rather be? IMHO, Seagate is more successful at carrying business, and still #1 disk drive company as far as the ability to maximize revenue and profit margin. Unit shipment is just for bragging rights, and that's where the perceived numerical advantage ends. WD is shipping lots of cheap low capacity units into the retail markets, and that's how unit shipments get to be higher. Those products are easier to make due to better yield, but don't provide a very high profit margin. Rating a company purely on unit shipment is a pretty shallow and lob-sided way of looking at a business. What really counts is the overall business model, and in that aspect, Seagate continues to shine.

    1. techman

      So what?

      I had a WD drive (OEM version, mind you, inside the #2 desktop manufacturer in U.S.) that died on me after 3 months, also did the clicking sound.

      Funny how we never hear the story of millions of drives that are successfully in use w/o any problems. Main point: just because a drive in your hand died, it does not mean a certain brand is "bad". Every brand of drive has melons. That's why you back up your data.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Fun with numbers again

    What you're looking for is revenue not market cap. WD already exceeded seagate's market cap last year when seagate's stock tanked. Seagate's recovery gave it a higher market cap again, but WD revenue has never exceeded seagate's. You also might want to mention that seagate made $100million more than WD.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Maybe so but WD are not problem free.

    My recent first time experience of WD was not great.

    Apparently their "green" drives have a "head park" issue which causes a SMART counter to increment rapidly and exceed the recommended life value with a few months.

    Plus WD don't support their drives under linux!?!

    Plus the green drives aren't suitable for RAID configurations!?!

    Plus customer support has ignored my emails.


    Then there's the 4K block size issue, which doesn't play nice with windows...

  6. cmaurand

    I'll still buy Seagates

    To the person that had the bad experience, I'm sorry. However, I've had Hitachi's (100% failure rate) and WD's (50% failure rate) in the past and I'll still go with Seagate especially when it comes to server drives.

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