DigiTimes heard HDD makers are working on cheaper 2.5" HDDs for netbooks. Seagate, Western Digital and Hitachi are all three said to be working on HDDs that should cost 40-50 percent less than current entry-level 2.5" HDDs.
Taiwanese industry sources claim the cheap HDDs for netbooks should arrive in the second half of 2009, and they should offer some fierce competition to SSDs.
As the consensus among PC vendors is that low-cost PCs will dominate the global market in 2009, they are under pressure to reduce production costs by all means possible, the sources indicated. For netbooks, the cost of key components including CPUs, LCD panels, optical disc drives and batteries mostly fall between US$20 and US$25 each while a 2.5-inch HDD can cost as high as US$43-45, thus making them the target for cost reduction, the sources pointed out.
The three HDD vendors will focus on minimizing the cost of drive ICs, magnetic platters, and pick-up heads, the sources pointed out. The storage capacity of such HDDs will be 80GB based on a single platter initially and may be increased to 100GB or 120GB if cost control proves effective, the sources indicated.