A new year means a fresh start, and a fresh start entails putting 2011's skyrocketing HDD prices behind us, right? Not quite. Seagate released its quarterly financial results yesterday, and although the report left investors cheering -- Seagate pocketed $3.2 billion in revenue despite last year's catastrophic floods -- things are looking a bit bleaker for end users. Seagate fully expects the hard drive shortage to continue until the end of 2012 as manufacturers struggle to catch up to consumer demand.
Blaming lackluster sales on the Thailand floods is the new black. Of course, the rising waters definitely affected washed-out HDD manufacturers with facilities in the Asian country; sales forecasts for PCs in general have also been reduced thanks to skyrocketing storage costs. Now, even AMD and Nvidia have started blaming the HDD shortage for a dip in quarterly GPU revenues. In case you're new here, we'd like to point out that GPUs don't use HDDs.
Western Digital's hard drive operations in Thailand spent part of the company's second fiscal quarter ended December 30, 2011 waterlogged after severe flooding ravaged the area, but if it was time to sink or swim, WD chose the latter. Remarkably, the hard drive maker still managed to ship 28.5 million HDD units during its second fiscal quarter, pulling in $2 billion in revenue and profiting $145 million.
Don't hold your breath waiting for hard drive prices to stabilize, not unless your lungs are large enough to sustain you for up to 12 months. It's been several months since flooding in Thailand left hard drive manufacturing equipment submerged in water, and as we kick off 2012, Hitachi warns the global hard drive industry won't completely recover until the end of 2012.
There’s no denying that SSDs are blazing fast and an all-around pleasure to have in your system, but for many folks, being limited to 128GB or 256GB just isn’t going to cut it. Enter Crucial: today, the memory maker announced the “Adrenaline Solid State Cache Solution,” which hopes to solve that problem (as the name implies). It could’ve been called the “SSD Band-Aid;” it’s basically an itty-bitty SSD that teams up with your HDD to deliver quick access speeds while keeping the high storage capabilities of traditional drives intact.
Hard drive makers put most of their eggs in a single basket by building the bulk of their manufacturing facilities in a flood prone section of Thailand, and that strategy came back to bite them on the backside when severe floods earlier this year dismantled their operations. As hard drive makers look to get back on track, they're coming up with various strategies to ensure no more monetary losses.
Seagate on Monday officially closed the deal to acquire the hard disk drive (HDD) business of Samsung for $1.4 billion, a transaction that was first announced in April 2011. Under terms of the agreement, Seagate gains select elements of Samsung's HDD division, including assets, infrastructure, and employees. Among the assets is Samsung's M8 product line of high-capacity, 2.5-inch HDDs.
After making waves by quietly launching the industry's first 4TB internal hard drive in Japan just days ago, Hitachi announced it is now shipping its new Ultrastar C10K900 enterprise hard drive, which the company claims are the fastest 10K hard drives on the planet. According to Hitachi, C10K900 drives offer 18 percent faster sequential and 17 percent faster random performance than the nearest competitor.
Effects of the hard drive shortage resulting from major flooding in Thailand earlier this year continue to reverberate throughout the technology industry. Even Intel, the world's largest chip maker, isn't immune to to it all, and in fact the Santa Clara outfit warned today that its fourth quarter results are expected to be below the company's previous outlook.
Now is a pretty bad time to be shopping for a mechanical hard drive. Prices are generally higher than what they were a couple of months ago, sometimes significantly so, due to the flooding in Thailand. But it's a temporary problem and eventually the storage sector will settle down. So, onward with innovation, and kudos to Hitachi for coming out with a 4TB internal HDD as part of its Deskstar line.