So to summarize my thoughts on the Backblaze blog post.
The study covered more than 25,000 drives, including 15 different models from 3 different manufacturers. The study concluded that of the drives observed that Hitachis had the lowest AFR, followed by Western Digital, followed by Seagate. They made no claims about manufacturer reliability in general.
And that is all that the study concluded.That's it.
If someone wanted to try and derive any other conclusions regarding the study, they should share their numbers, and show their work. If they didn't actually perform any further analysis, beyond what Backblaze did, then they should be clear to point out what they are sharing is an educated guess, not anything of merit.
If I had a signature, this is where it would be.