The growing popularity of IPOD, which has lead to a new social phenom I prefer to call IPoddery has proved to be a boon for Toshiba which is the king of tiny hard drives. Toshiba has sold three million 1.8-inch HDDs. Right now the top capacity is 40 gigabytes, but expect 60 and 80 gigabyte hard drives next year, according to sources close to the company. Does that mean we shall see the ever bigger IPODs next year? I hope so because right now I have a miserable 200 megabytes left on my barely six month old 15 GB model.
As a background, Toshiba’s 1.8-inch hard disk drives began mass production in 2000 with a removable 1.8-inch PC Card HDD in a 2GB* capacity. The company has subsequently introduced a series of products that consistently push the
borders of capacity and performance, including a 1.8-inch 5GB PC Card HDD and 1.8-inch embedded HDDs available in 5GB, 10GB, 15GB, 20GB, 30GB and 40GB capacities. (Compare this with the increase in the capacity and thinness of the the IPODs – they run parallel to each other.)
Toshiba estimates the market for 1.8-inch HDDs will rise to 70 million in 2010. As the demand for small form factor HDDs continues, Toshiba is responding by doubling its production volume to 600,000 units per month by March 2004. Well perhaps then I can upgrade my PowerBook to handle 160 gigabytes of storage as well