Seagate wrests the top spot that it lost to Samsung last year. Samsung comes in second, followed by IBM and Quantum. You will not see Quantum's name in the Users' Choice Club, as it did not get the minimum index of 10.
Hard disks had become a commodity market, but have seen continued interest because of the sea-saw battle between Seagate and Samsung for supremacy. That battle has been reflected in the awards as well with both winning alternately in the last three years. Compared to the monitor market, pure-play vendors have retained their identity better here. Quantum, Hitachi and Maxtor, all came above system vendors such as HP and Zenith, though none of them got to the cutoff of 10 percent. Of the system vendors, only IBM made it to the top five, but then IBM has had a hard-disk business, which was only recently sold off to Hitachi. All this does not mean that the hard-disk market offers more comfort to vendors. The truth is otherwise; the market is largely a two-horse one, with the other brands having only a very small share of the "I want to buy" factor.
Given the sea-saw battle, it is interesting to see the current ownership pattern. Forty nine percent of current ownership is Seagate, followed by 31 percent Samsung and 7 percent IBM. So, over the years, there has been a decline in ownership of IBM, while that of Samsung has been on the increase. There's a continuation of that in this year's awards also.
Samsung should be concerned about the comparatively lower loyalty factor, when compared to winner Seagate, and Quantum should be really worried about its low loyalty score. Seagate has the highest loyalty at 73 percent followed by IBM and Seagate at 63 and 64 percent, respectively. Quantum is at 54 percent. In the brand-switch sweepstakes, Seagate is sitting comfortably, with a majority of other brand owners who want to switch opting for the winner. Of current Seagate owners, 16 percent want to switch to Samsung.
This being a volatile market, we are tempted to predict who would be the winner next year. As per brand-switch data, Seagate will experience a 27 percent switch while Samsung would face larger 36 percent shift. Seagate has a higher current ownership as discussed above. So, our vote is for Seagate to retain the crown.