Toshiba is the third, relatively minor, player in the market. The company will make up some ground when it buys Western Digital’s 3.5 inch disk drive assets, required before European and Chinese regulators would approve the Western Digital deal. Toshiba is also the only supplier of 1.8-inch HDDs, suitable for tablets targeting business applications but also vulnerable to replacement by flash memory. Even so, Toshiba will be left with a tiny slice of the pie.
Toshiba’s situation is only sustainable if the company can nimbly establish viable niche markets where the other players are not participating or if it can gain some market share from Hitachi GST or Samsung that would otherwise go to Seagate or Western Digital. Past mergers indicate that this could happen but seldom has the industry hosted two mergers of this size simultaneously.