Hitachi Plans to Boost iPod mini's Hard Drive to 6 GB

In an interview with Taiwanese newspaper DigiTimes, an Hitachi Global Storage (HST) exec revealed that his company will be releasing a 6 GB version of the drive used in Appleis iPod mini. Pete Andreyev, HSTis vice president and general manager for the Asia-Pacific region, says the new drive will be available in the 4th quarter of this year. As first reported by TMO in January, Apple uses HSTis 4 GB microdrive in its iPod mini. From the interview:

Q: Which product will become the largest contributor to the slim-type HDD market?

A: In the next one or two years, slim-type drives will be embedded into products needing high capacity storage. Currently the drives are specifically designed for CF Type II slots, but we are in the process of developing a built-in slim-type HDD, in order to lower production costs. We plan to unveil a 6GB slim-type drive, up 50% from the current largest capacity of 4GB, in the fourth quarter this year.

There is more information about HSTis drive business in the full interview. Apple has not announced plans to incorporate the new drive into its iPod product line, and the companyis policy is to not comment on unnanounced products.

In related news, Hitachi Global Storageis parent company, Hitachi Ltd., announced today that it had turned profitable, in part due to the strength of its hard drive unit. According to a Reuters report, the company cited strong demand for the drive used in the iPod mini as one area of growth.