Seagate Technology ships its two billionth hard disk drive

American technology firm Seagate Technology has become the first company to ship two billion hard disk drives worldwide.

The hard disk drive manufacturer's journey to this milestone was fuelled by a recent explosion in demand for storage from mobile applications, cloud infrastructure, social media, business applications and a wide variety of consumer markets.

It took Nasdaq-listed Seagate 29 years to ship one billion hard disk drives from its factories worldwide, but just four years later, it has shipped two billion.

"This achievement is a testament to the commitment of our employees whose relentless dedication and personal pride continue to be the fabric of this company," said Seagate chief executive Steve Luczo.

Digital content demand comes from a wide range of sources, including social media and mobile devices, which thus drives the need for storage, Seagate said in a statement on Wednesday.

Analysts estimate that user-generated high-definition camcorder video, still pictures, and smartphone clip sharing storage needs are expected to quadruple from 2013 to 2015.

More than four billion hours of user-generated content is watched each month on YouTube alone.

Market intelligence firm IDC expects that more than 585 million hard disk drives will be shipped out this year alone.

Mr Richard Doherty, the research director of the Envisioneering Group, a technology research and consulting company, added: "By 2015, households which today routinely consume one terrabyte of data a month are expected to generate 20 times the amount of data than they currently save."

"Consumers' continued appetites for securely saving and organising high-definition multimedia requires higher performance and the most trusted and dependable drives."