Factory outage torpedoes Toshiba disk drive shipments

Toshiba disk drive shipments fell by half in the second 2020 quarter – an outage at its Philippines disk manufacturing plant is thought to be to blame.

Wells Fargo senior analyst Aaron Rakers pointed to the “severe decline” in a note to his subscribers. “Toshiba shipped ~9.55 million total HDDs during the June quarter, which represents a 51 per cent y/y decline and down 32 per cent q/q.” 

Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines) Inc., Binan.

Rakers doesn’t say what kind of outage affected the plant. And there is no mention of Covid-19 factors, such as lockdown, that may have affected Toshiba’s HDD ship numbers.

Toshiba’s Philippines plant produces nearline, 2.5-inch and  3.5-inch surveillance drives. Raker’s unit ship numbers for each in the quarter are:

  • Nearline – c941,000 – down 50 per cent y/y and down 32 per cent q/q
  • 2.5-inch – c5.5 million – down 58 per cent y/y and down 30 per cent q/q
  • 3.5-inch desktop – c1.82 million – down 35 per cent y/y and up 23 per cent q/q

Within the 3.5-inch desktop category Toshiba shipped 380,000 surveillance drives; down 71 per cent q/q from the prior 1.33 million drives with no y/y comparison.

Two of Rakers’ charts show these declines:

Toshiba’s shipments measured in exabytes reflect the same changes. For example, the company shipped c8.38 EB of nearline capacity, down from the c16.8 EB shipped in the first quarter. Seagate’s nearline capacity shipped in the second quarter was almost five times bigger at 79.5 EB.

Seagate last week reported a 128 per cent year-on-year rise in nearline disk sales for the second quarter.