Consumer-friendly network-attached storage market to grow
Network-attached storage (NAS) plays second fiddle to more conventional consumer options. However, new research predicts the relatively unsung technology could soon make a greater impact in a discerning consumer marketplace.
Citing an increase in portable web-ready devices, researcher In-Stat says NAS will compliment the growing need for content access. By 2015, the Arizona-based group believes storage companies with their fingers in the consumer NAS pie will enjoy a 36% year-over-year shipment through 2015. Over 50 percent of NAS shipments by that year will be made to Europe. North American consumers, however, will make up only a fraction of the burgeoning market at 4.4 percent.
“The market for consumer NAS has come a long way in the last year,” said Norm Bogen, VP of Research at In-Stat. “Many vendors have concentrated on simplifying the description of their systems, system setup, and management of their products.”
Bogen believes this simplification can be chalked up to a desire on the parts of companies to reach more people: “The end goal for this transformation is for NAS systems to appear less technical and more consumer-friendly.”
In-Stat found that nearly 63 percent of NAS shipments in 2010 were made by just five companies: Western Digital, Apple, Buffalo Technology, Iomega and Netgear.
A similar situation developed within the hard disk drive manufacturing industry earlier this year when Seagate and Western Digital absorbed former competitors Samsung and Hitachi GST, respectively. The pair now controls an estimated 90 percent of the HDD market.
It’s possible similar rivalries between the few major NAS players may still spur innovation. Last week both Hitachi GST and Seagate announced new high-capacity, 4TB HDDs despite their stranglehold on the market.
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