The HDD death has been predicted a few too many times...
Its still the cheapest storage with easy access out there.
Consolidation is not only expected, but somewhat necessary.
I spent 15 years in the HDD industry, and some things to understand:
- It takes roughly 70 people and 6-9 months to design and develop a new disk drive.
- product lifetime has been as short as 2 months and as long as 1 year.
- typical product lifetime is 3-6 months.
- A company needs to have multiple design teams doing multiple product designs phased for phased product releases.
If the product is late, its already obolete, and will not sell.
If the product is slightly behind the times, it will not sell.
Because of the above NRE expenses are huge, so margins or volumes have got to be huge, to make any money.
Margins went to nothing many years back, so the volumes need to be huge. Thus fewer players are the results of all that.
Because of the above, dozens of companies that used to make disk drives are now long gone.
All of that said, the "death of the HDD has been greatly exaggerated"
- its cheap, high volume storage, and all in all "fairly" reliable.