Hard drive storage prices have fallen by a third on a price per megabyte basis since 2006, new analysis confirms.

Market research firm GfK observes that during the first half of 2006 consumers paid an average £0.64 per GB. Today that figure is £0.43 per GB.

Hard disk drive sales experienced massive growth in 2006, reaching 1.3 million units and worth £118 million, compared to 560,000 units sold in 2005, worth £60 million, the analysts said.

Such growth continued into 2007, with year-on-year volume sales increasing by 90 per cent, and value increasing by over 50 per cent year-on-year.

The swing to laptops is cited as part of the impetus for the move to storage, as consumers source hard drives to offload data onto from their smaller laptop drives.

Just 6 per cent of all mobile PC’s have a capacity of 160GB or more, which GfK points out: "In times of multimedia communication this is just not enough for the consumer."

As price has fallen, external HDDs with a capacity of 300GB and larger have been in high demand in 2007. The market share of these devices has increased from less that 20 per cent in the first half of 2006, to nearly half today.

Sandra Bayly, account manager, GfK retail and technology, said: “The external HDD market is highly competitive and very promotional driven. Sales will increase in the second half of the year, particularly during the Christmas season. So consumer appetite for external HDDs is likely to continue, with GfK predicting that in 2007 sales of external HDDs will exceed 2 million units for the first time.”