When a company sells 2 billion of anything, there’s bound to be a good amount of competition that arises along the way. Unfortunately, with that much competition comes a fair number of casualties.
A few weeks ago we posted on the OWC Blog that hard drive manufacturer Seagate Technology recently shipped its 2 billionth hard disk drive. And now the folks at StorageNewsletter have posted a little historical snapshot of those who have challenged Seagate and the two other current HDD manufacturers – Toshiba and Western Digital – along the way.
Grimly dubbed the “HDD Graveyard”, StorageNewsletter lists all of those companies that have failed or discontinued production on HDDs since the technology’s introduction by IBM in 1956. Of the 220 companies that have entered production since that year, only the three mentioned above have survived. That leaves 217 that have failed or discontinued production. This list is worth checking out not only because it unearths some very notable names, but it also brings to light some interesting trivia from the history of the HDD.
Of course, the advent of Solid State Drives has played a big part in eliminating some of the need for HDDs, but it’s interesting to see the journey of their platter-based brethren. So take a stroll back in time and check out just how far the HDD has come.
Since they first were used commercially in 1956, Hard Disk Drives have seen exponential growth in capacity, with some models capable of storing multiple terabytes of data. The number of HDD units sold have seen a similar arc as demand has risen with the more widespread usage of personal computers, social media, mobile applications and cloud computing.
This rise in demand is nowhere more evident than with Seagate Technology, which announced today that it has become the first hard disk drive manufacturer to ship two billion HDDs. While that number is staggering in its own right, what makes it even more impressive is the fact that it took 29 years to sell the first billion and just 4 years for the second billion.
And that growth isn’t expected to tail off anytime soon.
“By 2015 households which today routinely consume 1TB of data a month are expected to generate 20 times the amount of data than they currently save,” said Richard Doherty, research director of the Envisioneering Group in a press release from Seagate. “Consumer’s continued appetites for securely saving and organizing high-definition multimedia requires higher performance and the most trusted and dependable drives.”
Seagate HDDs, which are used in many OWC solutions and DIY kits, have been sold since 1980, with the one billionth HDD shipping in 2008.
As you may recall, Apple changed the hard drive upgrading game with the 2011 iMac.
Up until 2009, changing a drive was easy once you could get to it. A few screws here, a connector there and voila – you were good to go. And OWC had you covered for all your iMac DIY hard drive upgrades.
With the late 2009 iMacs, Apple introduced a different connector for each brand drive, but as long as you stayed within the same hard drive brand, then it was the same, once you got to it – it was easy-peasy to make the old switch-a-roo. And OWC had you covered for your iMac DIY hard drive upgrades.
Then came the 2010 iMacs and the ‘same for same’ caveat still applied, but the 27″ iMac model introduced an additional SATA drive connection on the motherboard and the OWC Turnkey Upgrade program was born. Send us your 27″ iMac and we’d add up to 3 SSDs or even an eSATA port. It was a little more difficult, so we started with a do-it-for-you service, then made it available as a DIY kit. And OWC had you covered for all your iMac DIY hard drive upgrades.
Lo and behold, the 2011 iMac changed the game again, no longer could you swap out the drive without failing the Apple Hardware Test (AHT) and sending the fans into a tizzy. Soon after, we expanded the iMac Turnkey Program with our Do-it-for-you service on these machines as well. And, now, we’re happy to announce that we’ve crafted that solution into an elegant little DIY Kit. So, once again, OWC has you covered for all your iMac DIY hard drive upgrades. Article Continues…
A while back, Apple announced a replacement program for iMacs with a Seagate 1TB hard drive that shipped in mid-2011. Theses drives were prone to failure, so the program was set up to facilitate getting a properly-working replacement installed in those iMacs, which require drives with a custom firmware to interact with the temperature sensors. Not having this firmware results in the fans ramping up to full speed as you use it.
Now, Apple has extended that replacement program to cover iMacs sold with that same drive dating back to October 2009. To see if your iMac qualifies for the replacement, you can enter your machine’s serial number on Apple’s Replacement Program page.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 | Author: OWC Larry
Three weeks ago, I thought the Thailand/hard drive situation was bad and had worst-case scenarios in consideration. A week later and the worst of the worst-case didn’t line up with what was becoming reality. It seems like there may be some improvement in drive supply by mid-December, but it’s still disastrous and supplies are not likely to return to previous “normal” levels for many months—possibly even as long as a year.
For those who haven’t been following our coverage of the problem, here it is in a nut shell.
First, Western Digital’s main production complex in Thailand (one that produces about 60% of WD’s output and roughly 18% of the overall world drive supply) was first inaccessible, then literally under water from the flooding. Adding to the problem, there are also many drive sub-component manufacturers also impacted by the flooding; the one most critical to the hard drive industry would be be Nidec. Article Continues…