PCWorld: Toshiba Pumps Up The Volume On Small Hard Drives

One of the coolest things about Appleis iPod is its barely-there size. Measuring a mere 2.4" by 4.1" by 0.62", yet packing up to 40GB of music and data storage, the iPod is a model of space saving efficiency. Is there anything Apple could do to improve it?

How about making it even smaller? PC World is reporting that Toshiba, makers of the dinky 1.8" hard drives that Apple uses in the iPod, will soon be offering 1" drive that could end up in a new tinier iPod. This from the PC World article, Tiny Hard Drives Offer Big Storage:

"Disk drives are going into more and more applications," said Thomas M. Coughlin, president of storage market analysis company Coughlin Associates, during a storage industry conference in Tokyo in November. "Companies are looking at 1.8-inch, 1-inch, and possibly 0.8-inch or 0.7-inch drives."

His predictions for the hard drive market have 1.8-inch and smaller drive shipments reaching 3.3 million drives this year and climbing to 23.7 million drives in 2008 or, as a percentage of the overall disk drive market, from 1.4 percent this year to 5.3 percent in 2008.

The drives are expected to appear in products which require high-capacity data storage in a small form factor such as MP3 players, handheld digital video players, and other portable consumer electronics and even some cellular telephones.

Such is the demand already that Toshiba recently announced it is doubling production of its PC Card-size 1.8-inch hard drive to 600,000 units per month by March 2004. The drives can be found in Appleis IPod, Toshibais own Gigabeat digital music player, and some ultra-portable notebook PCs and are available in capacities from 5GB to 40GB.

Read the full article at PC World.