Who are the main manufacturers hard disk?

Hard disk drives (HDDs) have been the dominant form of computer data storage since the 1960s. Despite challenges from newer solid state drives, HDDs remain essential for high capacity, cost-effective storage. The HDD market is led by just a handful of major manufacturers.


Seagate is the largest supplier of hard disk drives, controlling over 40% of the global HDD market. The company produces drives for consumer and enterprise use, with capacities ranging from 500GB to 16TB. Seagate acquired competitor Maxtor in 2006, further cementing its market leading position.

Key facts about Seagate:

  • Founded in 1979 in Scotts Valley, California
  • Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland
  • Over 50,000 employees worldwide
  • Manufacturing sites in China, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Singapore, Thailand and United States
  • Produces over 200 million HDDs per year
  • Product range includes BarraCuda, IronWolf and Exos enterprise drives
  • Pioneered technologies like perpendicular magnetic recording and shingled magnetic recording

Seagate remains dominant in the HDD market due to its extensive manufacturing capacity, strong brand reputation and wide product selection for all use cases. The company continues to innovate, producing drives with ever greater capacities. Seagate acquired Samsung’s HDD business in 2011, further cementing its market leading position.

Western Digital

Western Digital (WD) is Seagate’s biggest competitor, controlling around 25% of the hard drive market. WD produces HDDs for both consumer and enterprise use, along with solid state drives and storage systems. The company also owns popular consumer brands like WD, SanDisk and G-Technology.

Key facts about Western Digital:

  • Founded in 1970 in Irvine, California
  • Headquarters in San Jose, California
  • Over 60,000 employees worldwide
  • Manufacturing sites in China, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and United States
  • Produces around 75 million HDDs per year
  • Product range includes WD Black, WD Red, Ultrastar and Gold drives
  • Acquired Hitachi’s HDD business in 2012

WD remains a leader in the HDD market thanks to strategic acquisitions, strong branding and continued HDD innovations like helium-filled drives. The company has focused on developing high capacity drives for enterprise and NAS storage. WD and Seagate supply over 80% of the HDD market between them.


Toshiba is a diversified Japanese conglomerate that owns around 15% of the global HDD market. Toshiba sells both consumer and enterprise drives after acquiring Fujitsu’s HDD business in 2009. The company manufactures HDDs through its Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation division.

Key facts about Toshiba’s HDD business:

  • Hard drive production started in 1970
  • Manufacturing sites in Japan and Philippines
  • Around 20,000 employees in the storage division
  • Produces around 20 million HDDs per year
  • Consumer product lines include P300, X300 and N300 drives
  • Enterprise and data center drives sold under the AL, MG and enterprise capacity lines

While smaller than Seagate and WD, Toshiba remains an important player in HDD production. The company focuses on quality and reliability for enterprise and nearline applications. Toshiba recently introduced microwave assisted magnetic recording and dual actuator technologies to boost HDD capacities and performance.

Market Share Summary

The HDD market remains consolidated among three major manufacturers:

Company Market Share
Seagate 40%
Western Digital 25%
Toshiba 15%

Smaller players make up the remaining 20% of the HDD market. These include Hitachi and Samsung, who have reduced investment in HDD production to focus on SSDs and other technologies.

Seagate Technology

Seagate Technology is an American data storage company founded in 1979 by Alan Shugart and Finis Conner. Based in Cupertino, California, Seagate is the world’s largest manufacturer of hard disk drives (HDDs) and held a 41% market share as of Q2 2022. In addition to HDDs, Seagate also produces solid state drives and storage systems.

Some key facts about Seagate Technology:

  • Founded in 1979 in Scotts Valley, California
  • Current headquarters in Dublin, Ireland
  • CEO is Dave Mosley
  • Over 50,000 employees worldwide
  • Manufacturing sites in China, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Singapore, Thailand and United States
  • Market leader in enterprise HDD capacity and shipments
  • Innovations include first 1TB desktop HDD (Barracuda 7200.11 – 2007), first 8TB NAS drive (Archive HDD – 2014)
  • Acquired competitor Maxtor in 2006 for $1.9 billion
  • Reported revenue of $11.7 billion in FY2022

Seagate manufactures a wide range of HDD products for consumer and enterprise markets, focused on quality and high capacity drive performance. Key product brands include BarraCuda, IronWolf and Exos enterprise drives. The company ships around 200 million HDD units per year.

Seagate has vertically integrated operations including its own HDD media, heads, slider and integration technologies. This allows full control over drive design, manufacturing and quality. In addition to HDDs, Seagate produces solid state drives like the Barracuda SSD and IronWolf SSD ranges.

History of Seagate Technology

Key milestones in Seagate’s growth into the world’s largest HDD producer include:

  • 1979 – Founded in Scotts Valley, California by Alan Shugart and Finis Conner
  • 1980 – Ships first 5.25-inch HDD for microcomputers
  • 1989 – Introduction of the 1-inch disk drive for laptops
  • 1991 – Ships first 7200 RPM HDD
  • 2000 – Opens manufacturing facility in China
  • 2002 – Produces first 160GB HDD using perpendicular magnetic recording
  • 2006 – Acquires rival HDD maker Maxtor
  • 2009 – Ships first 1.5TB desktop HDD using four 500GB platters
  • 2014 – Releases 8TB helium-filled enterprise HDD
  • 2018 – Produces 96-layer 3D NAND flash drives
  • 2022 – World’s first quad data rate (QDR) areal density HDD media

Through key innovations in areal density, performance and enterprise drive technology, Seagate has cemented its position as the market leader in HDD storage. It continues to innovate with technologies like heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) and dual actuators to further boost HDD capabilities.

Seagate Technology Outlook

Despite rising adoption of SSDs in some market segments, HDDs remain essential for mass capacity storage across consumer, business, data center and surveillance applications. Seagate aims to maintain its market leadership through the following strategies:

  • Grow share in enterprise/data center market with high capacity drives
  • Further vertically integrate key technologies like media and recording heads
  • Increase areal density through innovations like HAMR and MAMR
  • Continue transitioning production to lower cost regions
  • Expand into new adjacent markets like data analytics and storage systems

Seagate expects overall HDD demand to remain strong thanks to growth in stored data, IoT devices, surveillance, autonomous vehicles and other connected technologies. While SSDs are faster, HDDs provide unmatched cost per TB for mass capacity storage.

Western Digital Corporation

Western Digital Corporation (abbreviated WDC or commonly known as Western Digital) is an American computer hard disk drive manufacturer and data storage company, based in San Jose, California. WDC produces storage devices like hard disk drives, solid state drives, USB flash drives, memory cards and cloud storage solutions.

Some key facts about Western Digital:

  • Founded in 1970 in Irvine, California
  • Current headquarters in San Jose, California
  • CEO is David Goeckeler
  • Over 60,000 employees worldwide
  • Manufacturing sites in China, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and United States
  • Second largest HDD producer with 25% market share in Q2 2022
  • Key HDD brands include WD Black, WD Red, Ultrastar and Gold
  • Consumer brands include WD, SanDisk, G-Technology
  • FY2022 revenue of $18.8 billion

Western Digital manufacturers a broad range of storage products for both consumers and enterprises. This includes HDDs, SSDs, memory cards and USB storage devices. The company operates manufacturing facilities in multiple countries.

For HDDs, WDC produces high capacity drives for data center, NAS, surveillance and other applications. The company acquired Hitachi’s HDD business in 2012, making it the largest HDD producer at the time before being overtaken by Seagate. WDC remains focused on quality and advanced technologies.

History of Western Digital

Key milestones in WDC’s growth into a leading storage manufacturer include:

  • 1970 – Founded as a semiconductor manufacturer in Irvine, California
  • 1991 – Enters the HDD market with its Caviar brand
  • 2001 – Acquires desktop hard drive assets from Komag to become #2 HDD vendor
  • 2003 – First to ship Serial ATA HDD
  • 2012 – Acquires Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for $4.3 billion
  • 2016 – Acquires flash storage company SanDisk for $19 billion
  • 2021 – First to demonstrate microwave assisted magnetic recording

Through strategic acquisitions and technology innovations, WDC transformed from a specialized chip maker into a leading global storage provider. It continues to focus on advancing recording technologies like MAMR and HAMR to enhance HDD capabilities.

Western Digital Outlook

While NAND flash storage is eating into the low-end HDD market, WDC sees ongoing high demand for hard drives from cloud service providers and enterprises. Key areas of strategic focus include:

  • Maintaining HDD market share through technology and quality leadership
  • Optimizing costs through vertical integration and supply chain efficiencies
  • Driving growth in SSD storage for PCs, data centers and embedded devices
  • Expanding capacity of SSDs through QLC and other innovations
  • Investing in storage system technologies for enterprise markets

WDC aims to leverage its broad storage portfolio spanning HDDs, SSDs, flash and cloud storage solutions. With expertise across drive technologies and recording methods, Western Digital expects to maintain its market leadership in data storage.

Toshiba Storage & Electronic Devices Solutions

Toshiba Storage & Electronic Devices Solutions is the hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturing division of the larger Toshiba conglomerate. Formed from the storage business units of Toshiba and Fujitsu, it is the third largest HDD producer with around 15% market share as of Q2 2022.

Some key details about Toshiba’s storage division include:

  • Formed in 2009 from merger of Toshiba Storage Device Division and Fujitsu HDD business units
  • Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan
  • Around 20,000 employees worldwide
  • Manufacturing sites in Philippines and Japan
  • Ships around 20 million HDDs annually
  • Markets consumer HDDs under P300, X300 and N300 product lines
  • Enterprise HDD models include AL, MG and nearline drives

While smaller than Seagate and Western Digital, Toshiba plays an important role in the HDD industry. The company focuses on quality and reliability for enterprise and cloud-scale nearline storage applications. Toshiba HDD innovations include microwave assisted magnetic recording (MAMR) and dual actuator technology.

History of Toshiba Storage Solutions

Major events in the development of Toshiba’s storage business include:

  • 1970 – Toshiba begins production of HDDs in Japan
  • 2009 – Toshiba Storage Device Division merges with Fujitsu HDD operations to form Toshiba Storage Device Corporation
  • 2012 – First 2.5-inch 7200 RPM enterprise HDD with 9 disks
  • 2013 – Starts construction on new HDD production facility in the Philippines
  • 2015 – Produces world’s first dual actuator enterprise HDD
  • 2018 – First HDD samples using MAMR technology
  • 2021 – Achieves 26TB Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) HDD

Toshiba leverages its broad engineering expertise and intellectual property portfolio to advance HDD storage capacities through technologies like MAMR and triple stage actuators. This helps drive growth in cloud and enterprise storage applications.

Toshiba Storage Outlook

While Toshiba faces growing competition from Seagate and Western Digital, the company aims to solidify its market position through:

  • Focusing on quality and reliability for nearline and enterprise HDD segments
  • Targeting higher capacity Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) drives
  • Further development of MAMR and nano imprint lithography technologies
  • Optimizing production operations and supply chain management
  • Strategic partnerships and collaborations with storage vendors

Toshiba sees strong ongoing demand for high capacity enterprise HDDs driven by cloud computing growth. MAMR and TDMR technologies will help drive capacities up to 30-40TB by 2025. Toshiba expects to retain significant market share in cloud-scale nearline deployment through quality and technology leadership.


The hard disk drive industry is dominated by three major players – Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba. Together they supply over 80% of the HDD storage market. Seagate is the largest HDD vendor with around 40% market share and strong positions in enterprise and consumer drive segments. Western Digital is a close second at around 25% share following strategic acquisitions of Hitachi GST and SanDisk. Toshiba retains around 15% share focused primarily on enterprise and nearline applications.

HDDs remain essential for cost-effective, high capacity storage despite growth in SSDs. Nearline and cloud-scale enterprise servers are a key demand driver as data growth continues. All the major vendors are focused on boosting capacities through technologies like HAMR, MAMR, helium and microwaves. Reliability, quality and total cost of ownership are key metrics. While SSDs will keep taking share in consumer devices, HDDs still have a strong outlook in high capacity storage applications.