The 4GB hard-drive that makes is the nucleus of the new iPod Mini from Apple is made by Hitachi, sources at both Apple and Hitachi have confirmed to The Mac Observer. The one-inch wide drive is expected to make up a number of new portable music players that will compete against Apple in the near future.
It was expected that Apple would use a new one-inch hard-drive from Toshiba that was to be announced at the Consumer Electronics Show now underway in Las Vegas, Nevada. Industry sources have confirmed that Toshiba was unable to deliver its competitive one-inch hard drive fast enough to be considered the primary drive by Apple. The Toshiba drive is expected to be about the size of a quarter and will be used in a number of other popular MP3 players.
To date, Hitachi is the only hard drive maker to have shipped a one-inch drive with a 4GB capacity. In 2002, IBM sold its hard-drive business to Hitachi. IBM originally developed the one-inch drive, called the micro-drive, in the 1990s, but it was not widely popular. A number of companies are still using the IBM micro-drive, including Fuji in its digital cameras sold in Europe and Asia.