Tape Cartridge Sales Decrease Once More 10% Quarterly

To $153 million in 3Q12, analysis by Santa Clara Consulting Group
This is a Press Release edited by on 2012.12.10

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Backup tape cartridge sales amounted to $152.69 million in 3Q12, according to Back Up Tape Tracker ($2,750), a report from the Santa Clara Consulting Group.

LTO accounted for 93.0% of total with sales of $141.96 million.

The media market is expected to have sales of $151.98 million in the next quarter.

Total LTO sales were slightly off at 5.4 million units in 3Q12. LTO-5 volume was up in the quarter. It accounted for 29% of unit sales and 41% of dollars. LTO-4 shipments were down -4%. They represented 44% of units and 37% of dollars. LTO-3 sales declined -8%. They accounted for 21% of volume and 17% of dollars. LTO-2 was down -9%. It accounted for 5% of units and 5% of dollars. LTO-1 was down on a small volume. It sold 1% of units and 1% of dollars. HP led the LTO market with a 32% share. Fuji was the second largest supplier and IBM was third. In 4Q12 LTO total volume is expected to be steady. It will be supported by growth of LTO-5 and the expected launch of LTO-6.

The DDS/DAT cartridge volume decreased 25% to 0.4 million units in 3Q12. DAT-72 accounted for 39% of unit sales and 42% of the value of the segment. DAT-160 accounted for 27% of the value of the segment and DAT-320 took 6%. HP led the DDS/DAT market with a 68% share. Segment dollar sales amounted to $4.91 million.

DLT-S cartridge sales amounted to .04 million units. HP led the segment. It was followed by Quantum and Maxell. DLT-S dollar sales are expected to be off to $1.72 million in Q4.

DLT-V sales were off at .02 million units. Their value was $1.00 million. Quantum led the segment with a 49% share. HP was second at 20%. DLTtape IV cartridges accounted for 60% of units. Sales of DLT-V are expected to be lower in 4Q12.

AIT media supports its respective installed bases of drives. Total AIT cartridge volume in the quarter amounted to 0.03 million units. Sony was the sole source for the product.

Shipments of QIC cartridges in the quarter totaled 0.02 million units. Their value was $1.15 million. Imation dominated the segment with a market share of 96%.

The 8 million metal particle cartridge amounted to 0.01 million units worth $0.05 million. Imation led the segment with a 73% market share.

Tandberg supplied 8 million metal evaporated cartridges for its VXA and Mammoth drives. Sales were 0.01 million units in the quarter.

Read also:
Tape Cartridge Revenue Down 10% From 1Q12 to 2Q12
Santa Clara Consulting Group report

Our Comments

LTO represents more and more the bulk of the tape media market - mainframe's market not included - with a record percentage of 93% of all sold cartridges in Q12.

But the global tape market is down, a little faster than LTO.

Probably next year these figures will slightly stop to decrease at the current speed with the arrival of LTO-6 and the arrival of new cloud applications like Amazon Glacier.

All the numbers in 3Q12 are the lowest ones since at least 1Q11.

Before that, we found 3Q08 figures from SCCG: $301.1 million for the global market and $240.2 million for LTO, respectively 97% and 69% more than in 3Q12 or four years later. Who said that computer tape is a growing and successful industry?

     Tape cartridges revenues in $ million

   LTO    Q/Q
 % for
 192,1    5.3%  220,1    5.3%  87,3%
 2Q11  163.0  -15,1%  185,5  -15,7%  87,9%
 3Q11  158,9  -2,5%  178,2   -3,9%  89,2%
 4Q11  168,1   5,8%  187,5    5,2%  89,7%
 1Q12  169.3   0.7%  188.2    0.4%  89.9%
 2Q12  153.9  -9.0%  169.1  -10.1%  91.0%
 3Q12  142.0  -7.7%  152.7   -9.7%  93.0%
 (Source: SCCG)