"The sub-2.5-inch markets, mostly driven by massive demand for MP3 players and, in the future, by multi-function mobile phones, will be the most explosive growth areas for hard drives," said John Monroe, a research vice president at Gartner. "We are witnessing a global cultural revolution in portable digital entertainment. Hard-drive enabled MP3 players are already becoming ubiquitous, and by 2008, at least 8 percent of mobile phones could contain a hard drive. These are enormous new markets. It now seems likely that 1-inch hard drive shipments exceeded 8 million units in 2004, up from only 903,000 units in 2003. The compound annual growth rate for 1-inch hard drives should exceed 85 percent through 2008."
WD's miniature drive entry is expected to ship in the second calendar quarter of 2005. The 1-inch hard drive will spin at 3,600 RPM and will be available in capacities up to 6 GB. This new hard drive will be offered with the standard CF II interface and form factor, which enables it to fit into the millions of currently available devices accepting CF II cards, as well as easily integrate into future products. It will feature WD's anti-skip technology that supports uninterrupted audio and video playback. The drive also will incorporate WD's patent-pending advanced power management techniques to enable the longest possible battery life.