The global market for Digital Storage Devices is projected to decline to 3.6 billion units by 2024, as a result of the cumulative impact of inter-segment churn, cannibalization, obsolescence and replacement by new generation technologies as the market continues to be ravaged by continuous technology evolution and shifting standards. Optical disc devices, hitherto accounting for the largest market share, are forecast to decline at varying rates with CDs and DVDs being cannibalized by Blu-ray discs, while Blu-ray itself falls prey to the rise of on-demand streaming culture of digital media consumption. Hard disk drives (HDDs) are witnessing disheartening erosion in market value dragged down by declining desktop PC sales and also as a result of the market’s natural migration to Solid State Drives (SSDs) as the future of mainstream storage. By the end of the forecast period, solid state drive (SSDs) and flash drive based storage devices will take over the market supported by explosive growth in digital data generation and the ever-present demand for secure, faster and high capacity storage solutions suitable for rapidly growing data-driven applications. Benefits of SSDs that will eventually topple HDDs include flash based storage with no moving parts; longer durability and reliability; higher access speeds of over 35 to 100 micro-seconds as compared to 5,000 to 10,000 micro-seconds for HDDs; consumes less power and is therefore preferred for use in laptops and other portable devices where battery power preservation remains critical; noiseless operation; generates less heat and offers superior performance advantages. USB flash drives and memory cards continue to witness growth in the consumer market supported by on-the-go storage convenience and availability of smartphones with expandable memory slots. Despite the positive growth in the SSDs and flash drive segments, the huge base of legacy storage technologies and their decline continues to drag the digital storage devices market as a whole into the red. 1st generation optical disc storage devices and hard disk drive (HDDs) currently make up 59% of the market’s technology mix. Also, emerging over the horizon and threatening to drive USB drives and flash memory cards obsolete in the consumer storage space is the rise of cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, NextCloud and SpiderOak etc. Asia-Pacific, alongside Europe, represents one of the largest markets worldwide sustained by the digitalizing lifestyles of the growing base of affluent middle class population.
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