Western Digital closes factory due to declining demand for consumer HDDs

Originally published at: https://www.myce.com/news/western-digital-closes-factory-due-to-declining-demand-for-consumer-hdds-84667/

Western Digital will close a hard disk drive factory in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The closure comes in response to the declining demand for consumers HDDs. The factory, that is located close to Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, should cease operation by the end of 2019. However, by that time a second SSD factory in Penang, Malaysia should have become operational.

Problem here is if SSD doesn’t come down in prices HDD will be here to stay for the long haul.

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I do wonder if there’s anything inherently more expensive about their construction currently. They’ve slowly come down in price over the years but I remembering reading when they first were released the cost of manufacturing was vastly lower than that of hard drives but to recoup initial investments they were priced higher.

Surely by this point it would be a different motivation, but perhaps it simply comes down to charging as much as what consumers are willing to pay for them, gradually lowering the prices year-on-year until eventually they reach parity.

I suspect that is the plan to over charge for SSD now that people can’t find HDD prices. Called Scalping just like the guy whom raised the price of AIDS drug over 500% just for profit…

Comes down to WD wants to raise their PROFITS at consumer expense.

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I am using 480/500GB PCI-E or SSD drives as the principal drive in my computers because of the speed benefits realized with those drives. However, I am still using mechanical drives for my storage drives. I just recently purchased several Western Digital drives to use in a Raid array because the cost per GB is substantially less with the mechanical drives. However as I see it, practically all of the new OEM machines, minus the low-end units, have 240GB or larger SSD or PCI-E X4 M.2 drives in them so I can see where there is less demand for the mechanical drives. Still I hate to see WD close down their factory, but they have to do what is necessary to stay in business.

Until you can find a 8tb SSD at HDD prices that is where the bites for those using it for storage…

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I agree with you Coolcolors. I just bought two 6TB Seagate NAS drives and two 3TB Western Digital drives and if WD closes a factory the price for these large drives is sure to go up making it tough on us the consumer.

Declining demand? So are people actually paying 1.7k for 4TB MLC SSDs then?

It’s understandable that maybe smaller size hard drives are on the decline as more PCs and laptops come with something like a 128GB/256GB SSD (or even eMMC) instead of a HDD.

I would have thought large capacity drives and NAS drives would be doing well as the price disparity between a 4TB/6TB/8TB SDD and comparable HDD is ludicrous. At that end of the market HDD rules and SSD prices won’t get anywhere near HDD for years

It’s called PRICE FIXING, INSIDER TRADING to artificially raise the price.

That may or may not be true, but there’s also supply and demand, SSDs are slowly gaining a foothold at the lower end of the market, so if that plant was producing a lot of specific types or sizes of HDD that are in decline, the decision is more understandable.

If it is what you say. that is not legal and they will get caught sooner or later. The EU especially loves taking companies to court for millions/billions for price fixing, uncompetitive behavior etc.

Unfortunatly the price hasn’t gain the foot hold. If your looking at small capacity SSD your still paying less but take look at Larger SSD and your not gaining a foothold.

Unfortunately they are produced at the same plant so the decision is more about price fixing not a real supply and demand. They are making artificial shortage to raise price it’s not a real Supply and Demand. If that was true Hi capacity SSD aka 8tb SSD would cost the same as 8tb HDD but that isn’t so true.

If you look at the last year or two, there are more SSDs in laptops and PCs. If there are more SSDs inside computers, it figures there are fewer HDDs required.

You keep talking about price fixing, but WD price fixing on their own doesn’t work. It would need the whole industry to price fix as well or people would simply buy another brand apart from WD if their prices were too much higher.

The SSD market is growing quite quickly and the HDD market isn’t, and the forecasts are that the difference will grow. You are suggesting WD are spending a fortune to close one plant and open another just to do a bit of price fixing.

@roho, least we forget each of us are free to express our opinion. If you can’t go with that as part of this forum policies then not sure what else will fall into your expectations here.

You are entirely free to voice opinions about anything (rules permitting), as am I or anyone else. Have I said somewhere you can’t do that?

We are also free to counter or disagree with those opinions if we choose, is that not what is happening here? You disagreed with my opinion about supply and demand. I disagreed with your opinion about price fixing and insider trading (you even made the point of shouting those terms in caps).

Where in the forum policy does it say that I cannot disagree with what you say? I have not been aggressive or abusive in my responses, just replying to your points as you have replied to mine. Or do you prefer that only those agreeing with you should reply?

Personally… while SSD’s are nice, I don’t trust them with more important data long term as I think general hard drives are more reliable in that regard as they are less likely to just suddenly stop working without warning where as it seems SSD’s work great until they don’t and just die without warning from what I have heard.

still, SSD’s are definitely dropping in price as you can get 500GB range SSD’s for the price you would have got a 250GB SSD not all that long ago. but it will be nice once we start seeing the 500GB range SSD’s drop to $70 or less and then the 1TB range SSD’s start to hit that sweet spot of around $100-120 (which seems to currently be the 500GB range SSD’s) as I figure about $100-120 is that optimal range where you get maximum storage space without it taking out your $. but since the 500GB range SSD’s are reasonably priced lately, those who are looking to get into a SSD you can still get a solid buy for a 250GB range one as for most people the 250GB range ones are the minimum I would suggest buying unless you don’t do too much on the PC in which case even a 120-128GB range SSD will suffice. but for 120-128GB range SSD’s I suggest not paying more than about $30 as much over that is a little too much for that little of storage space. but I got a hold of a Intel 545s 128GB SSD for only $31.99 recently as it was a great buy as normally for that price your pretty much stuck to the generic brands, or the very weak name brands, but the Intel 545s are solid SSD’s straight up and have a 5 year warranty.

p.s. plus, I had a power outage in May 2016 (I got the SSD (Samsung 850 EVO 250GB) in May 2015) that took out the data on the SSD but a format and clean install brought it back. that’s one thing that maybe Crucial drives benefit from is since they have capacitors in them (I think all or most do(?)) they ‘should’ be less likely to act up from random power outages since those capacitors apparently give the drive that fraction of a second to finish any writes they may be doing when the power suddenly drops out.

It isn’t just SSD’s that is causing a fall in demand for HDD’s. Cloud storage is also having an effect on HDD sales.

funny enough bought my first mechanical drives last month in a LONG time 2x 6tb iron wolf drives