Consumer Electronics to Drive Adoption of Networked Digital Home Storage

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New report from the diffusion group suggest that data generated by widespread use of digital consumer electronics will drive purchase of non-pc shared storage resources.

A new report from The Diffusion Group, a leading digital consumer and new media research consultancy, finds that as widespread use of digital consumer electronics continues to accelerate, consumers will increasingly look to non-PC storage solutions to house and protect the personal content created by these devices. According to TDG’s latest report, The DNA of the Digital Home: Trends in Digital Home Storage, the amount of personal content or home reference data generated by the use of consumer electronic devices will grow from about 322 GB per home in 2005 to 1,933 GB in 2010.

“Today’s digital home environment primarily supports multi-PC activities such as sharing an Internet connection or peripherals such as printers and scanners, activities that do not necessarily create large amounts of digital data for storage,” said Tom Coughlin, contributing analyst with The Diffusion Group. “However, tomorrow’s digital home will support a variety of multimedia sharing activities, such as the use of portable digital music players, digital still and video cameras, and even DVRs and digital A/V players.”

“As this environment evolves, consumers will need a secure, non-PC-based platform on which to store the vast amounts of personal digital data created by these devices,” Coughlin continued. “In other words, consumers will look for a single storage platform that is networked and can share resources with both fixed and mobile PC and CE devices.”

Ultimately, Coughlin believes that a digital storage system will emerge in the home, one populated by an array of storage-enabled PC and CE devices and managed by a single, separate network-attached storage (NAS) platform. This platform will support not only PC and consumer electronic data storage and sharing, but will evolve to automatically backup all networked fixed and mobile devices, as well as enable the storage and transfer of very large multimedia files. This “home storage utility,” as Coughlin calls it, will operate transparently to the consumer and automatically provide for all digital storage needs both in the home and away.

Other key findings of TDG’s new study include:

  •     Storage devices networked in the home today are predominately external single disk drive storage boxes attached directly to home computers such as external USB interface drives.
  •     Only 21% of broadband households are familiar with network-attached storage (NAS), and only 3% currently use a network-attached storage solution.
  •     Storage capacity, speed of file transfer/backup, and price are the most important considerations in determining which storage solution consumers are likely to purchase.
  •     Total NAS home units will exceed 15 million units by 2010, with about 25% being multiple drive (RAID) storage systems.

TDG’s new report, The DNA of the Digital Home: Trends in Digital Home Storage, provides an examination of the general storage trends in the digital home, as well as a detailed analysis of the drivers and constraints that will determine consumer demand for network-attached storage units. The report includes an analysis of disc drive and storage product trends and the leading companies driving innovation in digital home storage. Forecasts include worldwide home networking and connected devices; HDD demand by unit shipment and market share; HDDs for consumer applications; HDDs for both fixed and mobile applications; HDD form factor projections; external disc drive devices; single and multiple NAS average sales prices; and projected unit and revenue for NAS units through 2010.

About The Diffusion Group (TDG Research)

The Diffusion Group is a consumer technology research and strategic marketing firm focused on the connected consumer and new media. Our mission is simple: to provide timely, actionable intelligence designed to best position new consumer technologies for rapid diffusion. TDG is committed to providing market research and strategic consulting services based on conservative, real-world analysis and market forecasts grounded in consumer research. For more information about The Diffusion Group, visit our website at http://www.tdgresearch.com.

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Andy Tarczon

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