While it’s no surprise that the consumer electronics market continues to grow and expand as technological innovations increase the options manufacturers have, there are still some areas that have yet to really take off. According to InStat Research, the next big thing might just be networked storage.
Network-attached storage (NAS) units work by putting a drive or series of drives (separate or in RAID arrays) into a box that connects them to a network. Most NAS devices employ Ethernet ports and cables to send the data online, but some have started to use slower – if more convenient – wireless networks.
Said Norm Bogen, VP of InStat’s research department:
“The concept of centralized storage was originally developed for businesses where access to corporate information through a network connected to multiple devices provided a number of competitive advantages. This context, where benefits are gained connecting multiple devices to a centralized network or storage system, never materialized in the home until recently. Now, with so many different devices in the home, the value of centralized storage is becoming more apparent. The difference, however, is that the need for home network storage is driven by practicality, while in business the driver is efficiency.”
The networked storage market enjoys one of the widest variety of manufacturers in the computer industry, though in terms of units shipped, Buffalo is currently sitting on top. Originally, households would own a desktop and that was it. Now many have one desktop, a couple of notebooks, a tablet and three or four smartphones. That necessitates a centralized storage area for content that multiple users can access – which is where these bad boys come in.
InStat said that worldwide revenue for the NAS market space was a bit under $700 million in 2010, although the number of units shipped wasn’t mentioned. The market as a whole is expected to pass 11 million for 2015, of which Europe is expected to pick up more than 50%. North America’s market penetration is estimated to hit 4.4% in the same year.