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Data Storage Hardware

Hard Drive Revenue About To Take a Double-Digit Dip 269

Posted by Soulskill
from the coming-down-with-a-case-of-the-cloud dept.
Lucas123 writes "Ultrathin notebooks, smart phones and SSDs are all putting pressure on the hard drive market, which is set to take an almost 12% revenue loss this year, according to a new report from IHS iSuppli. Hard drive market revenue is set to drop to about $32.7 billion this year, down 11.8% from $37.1 billion last year. At the same time, In what appears to be a grim scenario, the optical disk drive industry is expected to encounter continued challenges this year, and optical drives could eventually be abandoned by PC makers altogether."
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Hard Drive Revenue About To Take a Double-Digit Dip

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  • Less demand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Monday February 04, 2013 @07:22PM (#42791165) Journal

    That means prices will go down, right?

    • Re:Less demand (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 8ball629 (963244) on Monday February 04, 2013 @07:29PM (#42791243) Homepage

      That means prices will go down, right?

      We can only hope. Recently HDD manufacturers seem to be coming up with any excuse possible to increase the price per unit and I could see them increasing the price just to lessen the blow of decreased sales.

      • Re:Less demand (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Miamicanes (730264) on Monday February 04, 2013 @08:12PM (#42791755)

        For a hint of where the market for spinning drives is going, look at DLP. DLP never totally went away... it just walked away from the low end, then milked the high end for years.

        SSDs are getting cheaper, but for raw bulk digital tonnage and petabytes of ripped Blu-ray pr0n, it's still hard to beat spinning hard drives. Manufacturers will just quit making small drives as SSDs catch up, add platters until they can't fit anymore into a 3.5" enclosure, then revisit the past and reintroduce 5.25" hard drives, just like Quantum did ~15 years ago. At some point (probably 10-20 years from now) SSDs might eclipse spinning hard drives, but I wouldn't write them out of the picture TOO soon. We'll be buying them LONG after Joe Sixpack and his kids have forgotten what they are.

        Optical media will probably be around longer, as long as Hollywood doesn't manage to kill it off, because it has one concrete advantage: longevity (as long as it's not based on organic dyes). BD-R media is likely to be around (in single, 2, 3, 4, or more) layer forms for a really, really long time.

        Prices won't necessarily go up per se, but drives will probably get more expensive over time because the low end will just cease to exist, and manufacturers will try to make the drives bigger, faster, more redundant, (god forbid) repairable, or some permutation of the above, while maintaining the same price points and gradually just eliminating the lower ones until the only spinning drive you can buy is a 5.25" 500TB Western Digital Diplodicus Max with 256GB flashcache for $299.

        • Re:Less demand (Score:5, Informative)

          by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday February 04, 2013 @08:53PM (#42792179)

          For a hint of where the market for spinning drives is going, look at DLP.

          For anyone else going WTF do projectors and televisions have to do with storage, he's actually talking about DLT - Digital Linear Tape which is the marketing name of the Quantum tape product originally developed by DEC. The competing format is LTO (Linear Tape-Open) which basically killed DLT circa 2005. HP, IBM and eventually even Quantum (after acquiring Seagate's tape division) make LTO products.

        • Re:Less demand (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:41PM (#42792573) Journal

          Actually if anything I have a feeling HDDs are gonna have a "bounce" in a year or two as all those that got cheap SSDs get burnt when they flip the switch and find all their data gone.

          The problem with SSDs is frankly they have never really licked the controller issues and as they add more space the problem just seems to be getting worse. I have honestly never seen an SSD die from the cells being used up but I have seen a LOT of SSDs that had the controller fail and take the drive out. Over at coding horror they labeled this the hot/crazy scale [codinghorror.com] in that to get the hot performance of SSDs you had to put up with the crazy failure rates. While those of us who are religious about backups won't have a problem with this most folks are NOT religious about backups and WILL get bit in the ass when they flip the switch one day and just find their data gone forever.

          So I have a feeling when all those cheapo SSDs start going tits up there is gonna be a lot of folks that write off the tech and go back to HDDs, say what you will about HDDs they usually give you plenty of warning before going tits up.

          • Re:Less demand (Score:4, Interesting)

            by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:39PM (#42792929) Homepage

            The anecdotes from places like Coding Horror are just that: anecdotes. Were early SSD failure rates higher up to 2011 than regular drives? I think they've gotten better as years pass. What about now though? Even the 2011 survey from Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com] already put SSD reliability as already higher than regular drives.

            I've had plenty of spinning drives that didn't last more than a hundred days too. Hard drive controllers fail with no warning, just like SSD ones do. I think this is emphasized as more associated with SSD failures because it's the only way SSDs die.

            In the middle of 2011 Intel raised warranties to 5 years [intel.com] on the main SSD I use in my systems. In late 2011 Seagate dropped warranties to a year [dailytech.com]. If you don't care about high capacity, it's possible for a SSD to cost less per year than a mechanical drive now. That's not a glowing statement about the manufacturers thinking SSD is more likely to fail either.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by hairyfeet (841228)

              All I can tell you is what I've seen at the shop and my gamer customers are up to double digits on their SSDs because of all the controller failures.

              And you can take that "warranty" with a BIG ASS pinch of salt, as I have found that damned near NOBODY will claim any of those warranties, why? Because they would have to send the drive back and they have no idea what third world country that busted drive is gonna be sent to or if their data will end up recovered by somebody so they don't risk using the warran

              • by greg1104 (461138)

                Tools whose sole purpose is frustrating RMAs are all around. I have a WD drive with 500 uncorrectable bad secots. Each time I run a scan, it gives out *one*, switches to repair, and that's it--better now. No, it isn't next scan will find the next error. Hours of work, no RMA, no working drive.

                If you have a SSD where failures are total collapse, they can be more cost effective to repair, just due to the price tag. Just encrypt your data on there if you want it to resist RMA theft.

                You details on the shad

          • by Kjella (173770)

            So I have a feeling when all those cheapo SSDs start going tits up there is gonna be a lot of folks that write off the tech and go back to HDDs, say what you will about HDDs they usually give you plenty of warning before going tits up.

            Is that the plural of anecdote being data? That huge survey that Google released showed that SMART warning signs was a good indicator it would fail soon, but most drives still failed without warning. Not difficult if 5% of your drives show SMART issues with a 50% chance to fail, but 95% of your drives look fine with a 3% chance to fail. And that was Google who mostly run their disks 24x7, for home users who power cycle their drives more often the usual failure mode is that they work fine until a reboot and

        • by gman003 (1693318)

          I think hard drives are more likely to grow "up" than to grow "out". Think 1-1.5" high 2.5" drives, or 2-2.5" high 3.5" drives.

          Main reason would be speed. With SSDs becoming abundant, people will be wanting faster access even on discs. Adding more platters means more heads, and thus more raw I/O, while wider platters give higher seek times and generally slower rotation speeds as well.

          Still, your guess is as good as mine.

          • by TheLink (130905)
            The HDD makers should do a better job of using small capacity SSDs as part of their drive caches.

            Then more people would buy the 2TB HDD+32GB flash cache instead of a 128GB SSD and separate 2TB HDD.

            Currently there are hybrid drives with tiny SSDs as caches but they don't perform well enough to be competitive with SSDs and from what I see there's no technical reason why they can't be competitive.
            • "Currently there are hybrid drives with tiny SSDs as caches but they don't perform well enough to be competitive with SSDs and from what I see there's no technical reason why they can't be competitive."

              The Seagate Momentus XT, when it was new, outperformed some competing -- more expensive -- SSDs in write performance. Since then, new SSDs have overtaken it again. But don't write off hybrid drives as underperforming. As the XT showed, if designed well they can be pretty remarkable.

              And don't forget improvements in technology. Even those spinning platters get higher capacities and performance every year.

              Sooner or later, solid-state will shove the moving parts off the market. But that is still some year

        • by rolfwind (528248)

          At some point (probably 10-20 years from now) SSDs might eclipse spinning hard drives, but I wouldn't write them out of the picture TOO soon.

          Idk, prices on SSDs have dropped a LOT. I mean 2 years back in Summer 2010, I got an 80GB Intel SSD for $215 and now I got a 240GB Intel SSD of comparable rank for $155 (last december, for some reason they raised the price on it now).

          I feel that HDDs haven't done shit in capacity increases for some time now. If the doublings hold, I would say by 2020, we'll be seeing

      • Re:Less demand (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:34PM (#42792511) Journal
        And THIS, this right here, is why their sales are falling. Before the flood I was getting 1TB drives at around $40 and 2TB drives for around $65 but since the flood prices have been close to double that so I simply haven't been buying. If the prices come down? Sure I'd be happy to add another couple of TB of storage, but I'm not gonna pay premium price just to add more space.
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          The market has been pretty stagnant for a couple of years now. Prices have remained high and capacities have not improved much. The really big drives are still relatively rare and rather absurdly priced. I am not looking forward to any new media purchases because there's simply nothing new to look forward to.

          If they don't present me with a nice upgrade path, I will continue to just hold onto my old media longer.

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Exactly,I have a lot of customers that would be happy to add another couple of TB for storage and backup purposes....but not at the prices they currently want. I currently have 3TB in my system (1TB OS drive, 2TB data) and wouldn't mind adding another 2TB so I can rip my entire DVD collection and just drop them in a folder but there is no way I'm paying $100+ for a single 2TB drive, not when I paid less than that pre-flood for both the 1TB and 2TB drives put together.

            So if the prices go back down to pre f

    • by colinnwn (677715)

      optical drives could eventually be abandoned by PC makers altogether.

      And won't be missed.

      That means prices will go down, right?

      At first as the market searches for a new equilibrium. Later, at least one or 2 big name makers will exit the market. As the size of the market contracts, you'll see the price of HDDs per GB creep up a little, or at least stop going down ignoring the effect of the Taiwanese floods. But HDDs aren't going away. They'll be the cheapest highest density quickly accessible storage for m

      • Re:Less demand (Score:5, Informative)

        by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Monday February 04, 2013 @07:42PM (#42791419) Homepage Journal

        "or at least stop going down ignoring the effect of the Taiwanese floods."

        You could at least get the country right. It's Thailand, not Taiwan.

      • Re:Less demand (Score:4, Insightful)

        by teh dave (1618221) on Monday February 04, 2013 @08:32PM (#42791957)

        And won't be missed.

        I will miss them. I still like optical discs, as they make an excellent WORM media (Write Once, Read Many). This makes them good for archival storage of files that aren't huge movies, like documents. A double layer BD disc holds 50GB, which is plenty for documents, config files, code, save games, even photos or moderate amounts of music. Just because you can't fit your entire torrented movie collection doesn't make them useless. You see, I can write a BD disc, and close it. I then know that nothing can write to it again (well, practically - how many people have BD burners, and mine won't anyway), which means it's safe to use in an untrusted (or potentially infected) system. Name a cheaper storage medium which has this capability.

        I also find many people dismissing optical media for movie and game distribution, and claim that these days it should all be distributed online. It must be nice to have a fibre Internet connection to your house, but back in the real world where everyone else lives the average Internet connection speed is still a couple of megabits, and that isn't improving very quickly at all. People like myself are stuck with a measly three megabits... you expect me to download a 20GB video game or a 40GB movie on that? I'd be waiting a week!

        • by teh dave (1618221)
          Whoops - forgot to mention. The other benefit WORM media has is its usefulness for storing software that needs to be trusted, such as your OS. I realise it's much faster to install an OS from a USB flash drive, but I can much more easily trust the Ubuntu disc I burned on a trusted system after verifying its integrity using the supplied sha1sum - or the offical logo'd Windows disc supplied by Microsoft with the pretty hologram embedded in the disc surface.
          • by PReDiToR (687141)
            I was going to comment that SD cards have a write protect tab, but then I remembered that you flick that switch to enable CHDK [wikia.com] on Canon cameras so the protection is only in software, not hardware.

            Another thing that has a write protect tab is the Zalman Virtual Drive USB device [amazon.co.uk]. I'd be happy enough to boot from one of those on a daily basis. I already use a few USB keys with ISOs on for different scenarios.
    • Re:Less demand (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dr. Spork (142693) on Monday February 04, 2013 @07:32PM (#42791267)
      Maybe. But there will also be much less investment in further density improvements. Every dying technology reaches a price minimum, after which point the price actually increases. Even though memory is cheap, a new stick of DDR costs more now than the same stick would have cost five years ago, even though the demand was much higher then. That's simply because manufacturers lost all incentive to produce DDR because of the low demand. The same thing could happen to hard drives. You'll know we're in trouble when factories start scaling back production, closing or retooling for the manufacture of something else. We're not there yet, but we soon might be.
      • Re:Less demand (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Githaron (2462596) on Monday February 04, 2013 @07:45PM (#42791453)
        I am more worried about traditional computers following this trend as the average Joe finds all his non-productive computer usage can be done on a tablet and gaming console. Power users, productive users, and PC gamers would left spending even more money on equipment than they already do.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          In comparison with what PC hardware used to cost, they are extremely cheap at the moment.

          My first PC in 1992 cost me £1400.
        • That's how it should be. OTOH the products will be more focused so you should get more value for your money.

        • by yuhong (1378501)

          On the other hand, these users are more likely to demand alternate OSes like Linux and Windows with less crapware. I have been thinking of starting a mailing list where PC vendors can communicate with OS vendors, which could be the beginning of a standard group.

    • Actually if they do less volume prices will rise.

    • by suutar (1860506)
      no, but supply will.
    • Re:Less demand (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday February 04, 2013 @07:49PM (#42791493)

      That means prices will go down, right?

      That would probably be true in a competitive market.

      But right now the market for hard disks is between two giants (Western Digital and Seagate) and one tiny little division of Toshiba that doesn't make much if any 3.5" models. I think we are much more likely to see oligopoly-style non-competition and thus price stability if not outright increases.

      • Re:Less demand (Score:4, Insightful)

        by whoever57 (658626) on Monday February 04, 2013 @07:53PM (#42791531) Journal

        But right now the market for hard disks is between two giants (Western Digital and Seagate) and one tiny little division of Toshiba that doesn't make much if any 3.5" models

        And SSDs. The availability of drop-in replacements for spinning-disk hard drives alters the market dynamics. SSDs are a lot more expensive, but they also offer some big benefits: lower power, faster access. The availability of SSDs is likely to impact the price of spinning platters much more than the 2-supplier oligopoly.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Prices are already down and below pre-flood prices for 3TB HDDs, so I'm not sure what the fuss still is. Here's the price development on a Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 6Gb / s [google.com], scroll down to "Full history" and you can see the whole history from pre-flood to today. The prices are in NOK so forget the absolute values but pre-flood it cost about 1000 NOK, peaked at 1700, returned to 1000 around Christmas and now it sells for 921, wiithout VAT that's about $135. Bulk storage has never been cheaper than now

      • Re:Less demand (Score:4, Informative)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday February 04, 2013 @08:33PM (#42791969)

        That is just the price history of one model in one country. In the US, I scooped up eight 3TB external drives off the shelf of Target after the price-gouging started because Target was slow to catch up with the online gougers. They were $99 each. Yes, $99 for a 3TB external drive at a regular brick and mortar department store,, not on sale. The 2TB drives were $79.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          external disks are often inexplicably inexpensive at big box stores. costco often has really great deals on them, for example, and their computer prices are usually not that fantastic.

      • You are also failing to consider that if it hadn't been for the flood, would likely have continued the downward slope from where they where. Just because we are at pre-flood doesn't mean the market has recovered. 3TB drives would be about $90 each right now based on the trajectory of price if it hadn't been for the flood. I haven't seen $90 3TB drives anywhere except for "1 per household" and "only 100 at this price" sales.

  • optical disks still cost less then usb keys / sdcards in bulk.

    Also HSI is not all over the place and 3g/4g caps are low.

    And to install a OS a disk is nice and not a restore / recovery partition that can be wiped out by hdd failing / junk software / putting a bigger drive in your system.

    Also what about building a pc you need a os install disk.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fatalexe (845503)
      I switched to using USB drives to install the OS of a computer a long time ago. You can even keep them up to date with OS patches unlike burnt disks. Usually installs faster too.
      • by Khyber (864651)

        "You can even keep them up to date with OS patches unlike burnt disks."

        Someone obviously hasn't heard of nlite.

      • by Trolan (42526)

        Same here. There's even USB drive enclosures which let you select an ISO from the disk, and then present themselves as a CD/DVD drive as though that disk image were directly inserted. Far, far easier to load up a 2.5" drive with a ton of disk images, and just carry the enclosure around for system repairs, instead of a slew of optical media.

      • I switched to using USB drives to install the OS of a computer a long time ago. You can even keep them up to date with OS patches unlike burnt disks. Usually installs faster too.

        It's just that malware can modify the contents of the flash drive and after that, all your installs will be contaminated.

    • then copy to flash right before the install. No stacks of install media needed.

    • by exomondo (1725132)

      Also what about building a pc you need a os install disk.

      That requirement went away like a decade ago.

    • by fermion (181285)
      By my calculations DVD is about 5 cents/gb, hard drives are about 10 cents/gb, and USB drives are about 50 cents/gb.

      DVD is slow and bulky requiring a DVD drive to run. Even in clean storage the disks can fail, and you for any computer bakcup multiple disks are going to be required. They are not really suitable for the modern computer.

      My OS and computer backups are on hard drives. I boot the computer, select the partition, and go. For backups the software automatically wipes and reloads the computer

  • I still systems with SDD's system and HDD's data / maybe apps based on how big the SDD is.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      That's my situation, I can't afford a SSD to hold my data. So I have a small SSD to hold the system and my home with a little bit of my data including my firefox profile and so on, a medium HDD to hold big apps, and a sizable (3TB) disk on a dockstar for the bulk of the data, which gets backed up periodically to another one just like it...

    • by Abreu (173023)

      Your sentence no verb.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Monday February 04, 2013 @07:38PM (#42791371)

    We haven't a major increase in HDD capacity for a long time. That means, instead of paying $300-500 for a high-capacity drive as we did when drive capacity seemed to be doubling every year, we've been paying $100-150.

    So I'm shocked that revenue might be dropping.

    • That's true. The next increase will probably happen during the following years if and when the manufacturers get drives utilizing HAMR developed to real products.
  • Seriously. Where are they? I've got the 750 gig Seagate and I love it but it's not big enough for my games. The only other choice I have is the 1tb Revo but that's not really much of a bump and it would take up a PCIe slot, preventing me from ever running 4-way SLI. And it's almost 4x the price of the slightly smaller Seagate. Hardly a bargain compared to SSD. If I'm gonna spend $500, I may as well spend a grand and go full SSD.

    I assume Apple must have some sort of exclusive deal on their 3tb hybrids

    • by Guppy (12314)

      Where are the hybrids???

      Toshiba's hybrid hard drive is already in mass production (the MQ01ABDH model, in 750GB and 1TB sizes), but it's OEM only. Right now you pretty much have to buy a new Toshiba laptop to get one. Western Digital seems to have pushed theirs back into 2014.

      Well, there are also the hybrid drives from Samsung that came out back in 2007, but I don't think anyone's counting those.

    • First of all, I don't know how many games you would want to play at one time that take 700 gigs. Aside from that, I think windows can make a hybrid drive setup for you if there's flash memory available (ssd, usb stick etc). 2 TB HDD plus 30 gig SSD is probably the cheapest way to go hybrid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by k3vlar (979024)
      Apple doesn't have 3tb hybrid drives... theirs is a software solution. They include a 128gb off-the-shelf(-ish) SSD, and a 3TB platter-based hard drive. Their volume manager software "intelligently" shuffles data around, to optimize access speeds. Not sure how effective it is, but it sure sounds appealing in their advertising material.
    • by greg1104 (461138)

      The hybrids are a nice win on boot time. On many benchmarks, you'd be better off spending that money on more RAM though. Hybrid drives beat regular ones, sure, but you have to match cost and compare against having more memory.

      Seagate's hybrid drives will have a much bigger win when they finally release the write caching firmware. The disappointing schedule on that has made me regret buying one of those. I would have been better off just paying for all SSD in the first place, or more RAM.

      Apple's "Fusion"

  • In other news, the price of wax cylinders is set to rise this year.
    • by Junta (36770)
      Not an apt analogy. Traditional hard drives still contain the vast vast vast majority of data in the world. Even if every last consumer device were 64 GB of SSD and no one bought any laptop/desktop anymore, all the data they care about would still be on magnetic disks at google/apple/dropbox/mega/azure/ec2/etc...
  • by MarioMax (907837) on Monday February 04, 2013 @08:11PM (#42791751)

    It just drives me absolutely crazy that low end hard drives are as expensive as they are, and stubbornly not dropping. Take for example these prices on Newegg for a new internal desktop hard drive:

    250GB - $49.99 ($2.00 per 10 gigabytes)
    320GB - $59.99 ($1.87 per 10 gigabytes)
    500GB - $58.99 ($1.18 per 10 gigabytes)
    1TB - $79.99 ($0.80 per 10 gigabytes)

    I mean, don't get me wrong, the 1 terabytes are an attractive price on a price-per-gigabyte point of view. But there are times where you simply don't need (or want) a large drive, and a small one would do, or your budget for a larger one doesn't exist and you need a smaller drive. But the price per gigabyte is so out of whack on the low end models, it doesn't make sense to waste your money. You'd think stores and suppliers would want to dump their low end inventory for the larger capacities, but apparently they aren't in any hurry.

    • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday February 04, 2013 @08:42PM (#42792073)

      250GB - $49.99 ($2.00 per 10 gigabytes)
      320GB - $59.99 ($1.87 per 10 gigabytes)
      500GB - $58.99 ($1.18 per 10 gigabytes)
      1TB - $79.99 ($0.80 per 10 gigabytes)

      I mean, don't get me wrong, the 1 terabytes are an attractive price on a price-per-gigabyte point of view. But there are times where you simply don't need (or want) a large drive, and a small one would do, or your budget for a larger one doesn't exist and you need a smaller drive. But the price per gigabyte is so out of whack on the low end models, it doesn't make sense to waste your money. You'd think stores and suppliers would want to dump their low end inventory for the larger capacities, but apparently they aren't in any hurry.

      There's more to a hard drive than the platters.

      What this pricing is telling you is that it costs about $30-40 to produce a hunk of machined aluminum, a controller board, a few connectors, some cache memory, a voice coil, a fancy motor, and a read-write head. And it costs about $5 to produce a platter, regardless of whether it was a 500GB/1TB platter that's only good enough to be used on one side, both sides of a 320MB platter, etc.

      The pricing curve for SSDs will have a very long-term advantage over spinning metal in that the costs of the "mechanical" parts of an SSD are negligible in comparison to the costs of a spinning disk. There'a a very real floor in HDD pricing, because there's a lot of things inside an HDD that don't store bits.

      • by Kjella (173770) on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:17PM (#42792353) Homepage

        There's more to a hard drive than the platters. What this pricing is telling you is that it costs about $30-40 to produce a hunk of machined aluminum, a controller board, a few connectors, some cache memory, a voice coil, a fancy motor, and a read-write head. And it costs about $5 to produce a platter, regardless of whether it was a 500GB/1TB platter that's only good enough to be used on one side, both sides of a 320MB platter, etc.

        And that's just the production, you still have the same costs on packaging, distribution, support, warranty returns etc. no matter if it's a 250GB or 1TB drive you're selling. I see the same thing here with for example broadband, there's a price floor just to operate a service to you no matter if the flow is a trickle or a torrent.

    • by Hadlock (143607) on Monday February 04, 2013 @09:17PM (#42792345) Homepage Journal

      The case alone costs about $12 to buy the raw materials, cast, and precision machine. The only difference between the 250GB and 1TB version is the number of platters, quality of platters and model of read/write heads. The profit margin on the 250GB is probably about 15%, just the same as the model with the high end 1TB platters & read/write heads. Eventually you run in to a price floor, which is based on the physical reality that the drive is made from high grade machined aluminum.

    • by snadrus (930168)
      USB Flash Drive:
      32GB - $17.98 ($5.60 per 10 gigabytes)
      If you're storing just an OS image, why waste $30?
  • It's deserved (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2013 @08:12PM (#42791763)

    The market is punishing the Hard Drive creators for the fact they engaged in price gouging. The popularity of SSDs skyrocketed after hard drive manufacturers took advantage of several factories being disabled. Now that people like SSDs, the popularity of hard drives is permanently diminshed.

    Did you enjoy your short term gains without and long term goals? Hope you did. Bye bye in a few years, then!

    • Re:It's deserved (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rich0 (548339) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:33AM (#42795439) Homepage

      Did you enjoy your short term gains without and long term goals? Hope you did. Bye bye in a few years, then!

      You say that as if the company has feelings. The company didn't enjoy anything, and will feel no pain when they collapse.

      The executives running the company, however, certainly enjoyed their hefty bonuses during the years they gouged the industry. They can just coast now until they get fired, and then retire to their private islands. I'm sure they've all learned their lessons.

  • Optical drives are on the way out? Good riddance. I'm tired of those slow, cumbersome wastes of space.

    Any software that isn't delivered as a download (and most of it is these days) should be on a USB drive. And it should have been like this for years already.

  • Say what you want about them but I still love a good DVD-RW drive. It will never matter what kind of computer I'm running, an optical drive will always be in my bill of sale.
  • by linebackn (131821) on Monday February 04, 2013 @08:34PM (#42791985)

    Quality DVD-Rs and CD-Rs last a long time, have no mechanical components to wear out, or electronic parts that can get zapped. They are not even magnetic, so EM is not an issue. Except for RW media, they can not be overwritten so data can not be altered by a computer glitch or virus. Their interface to the computer can't become obsolete since they don't have one, and newer drives would adapt for the next great thing. CD-R media even lets my data be readable in the oldest of CD drives. Disks are easier to store and organize than a pile of flash drives. And CD/DVDs don't usually break when dropped, like hard drives.

    Unlike teh cloudz, the data is secure from prying eyes and right under my fingertips when I need it.

    I use DVD-R for long term backups all the time, and I'm a little concerned that if CD/DVD media goes the way of the floppy drive then what can I use that is just as reliable and inexpensive?

    • Floppy drives are still available, mostly in the 3.25 size. But 5.25 blanks and refurb/NOS drives are still around too. There must be an inventory of many many years worth of old 5.25 drives around.

      CDs, DVDs etc are still being sold in large quantity today. I do think though the absolute peak has passed. But optical drives will be available for a long time to come barring an extinction event. I think at least 30 years probably longer given the durability of the media. I have some CDs from when I bought my

  • by pod (1103)

    This seems to be the expected result of SSD technology spreading and becoming cheaper. Your everyday user can now buy a reasonably-sized PC with only an SSD for storage. Additional storage needs can be easily addressed with memory sticks, external drives, and cheap and easy to configure and use network storage.

    Optical is a bit of an odd one, but not totally unexpected. Online software delivery (no need for CDs/DVDs), downloadable music and movies, online and networked data storage, pretty much eliminate the

  • by citizenr (871508) on Monday February 04, 2013 @10:16PM (#42792801) Homepage

    We are living in an Information Age. Do you honestly expect all of the Clouds to store Petabytes of data on SSD drives?

  • I'd love to have something good enough to back up large amounts of data without burning through a stack of CDs or DVDs. Does the technology have to be driven by the entertainment industry?

  • by n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @02:34AM (#42794183) Homepage Journal

    The hard drive market is awful. I recently settled on a 1tb WD black drive. Because it has a 5 year warranty. For the same amount, i could get a 1 year warranty 2tb 5400 rpm drive.

    The market is crap. The low end drives are just piles of smoking trash, and the "high end" aka NORMAL hard drives circa 2010 are like 80 or 90 cents per GB. (wd black 2tb = $170). They they added a mid range (RED), and an ultra low end space wise 7200 rpm (blue). which position themselves in price wise right and conveniently in between green and black! used to be every drive got the best technology and cache. Now we have gay ass segmentation

    And seagate, dont get me started. They have no warranties longer than 3 years, with most drives have a 1 year warranty. Yeah thanks no. Firmware bug + 1 year warranty.. PASS

    good thing most computers which are not servers of some sort can get by on a single $70 ssd. The quantum leap of performance which is the solid state drive allows me to defer most mechanical hdd purchases till an age of reason returns.

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