It took Seagate 29 years to ship 1 billion hard drives but the firm expects the next billion will be reached in less than five years:
As further testimony to its market leadership and the central role storage solutions play in the digital world today, Seagate projects that although it took 29 years to reach the 1 billion milestone, the company will ship its next billion in less than five years. Also, by the time its nearest competitor reaches 1 billion drives shipped, Seagate will already be close to shipping its second billion.
Seagate's billionth drive milestone comes as hard drive shipments continue to increase dramatically. According to Gartner Group, last year alone more than 500 million drives were shipped, compared to 1990, when slightly less than 30 million were shipped.
In 1979, Seagate's first product, the ST506 hard drive, could store 5 megabytes of data or the equivalent of one MP3 song. The drive weighed about five pounds and cost $1,500, or $300 per megabyte. Today, a typical Seagate hard drive offers a terabyte of data (or 1 million megabytes), which has enough capacity to record 32 days of high-definition video around the clock -- at a cost of 1/5000th of a cent ($0.00022) per megabyte.