Samsung could be about to sell its dwindling hard disk drive business as flash memory becomes increasingly popular, according to a person “familiar with the matter.” Thanks to the success of devices such as the iPod, iPad and MacBook Air, Apple has boosted the adoption of flash memory devices and encouraged consumers to ditch standard hard drives for speedier storage.
Samsung has set a target price of $1.5 billion for its hard drive business, but the Korean company is reportedly keen to sell it for under $1 billion if the right customer comes along. The Wall Street Journal report notes that Seagate Technologies could be a candidate for the business, though neither company has commented on the rumor.
Apple is considered to be the largest consumer of flash memory in the world, and predominantly responsible for the shift away from conventional hard drives to solid state drives. It’s believed the company’s iPad is entirely responsible for the complete reorganization at Acer – whose netbooks sales were hit hard by the popular tablet.
Apple is undoubtedly responsible for my personal adoption of SSD drives; after purchasing an 11-inch MacBook Air my other Macs felt incredibly slow in comparison. It seems once you go flash, there’s no going back.
Friends, Romans, Applefans, I come to bury hard drives, not to praise them. The evil that poor technologies do live after them, and our good files are oft interred with their ashes. So let it be with hard drives.
Look at your MacBook Pro. It’s beautiful, no? Bright screen, thin body, buttonless trackpad, carefully engineered ports, MagSafe power port… it’s a master-work. Except for one thing. It carries a vestigial organ that all-too-often reveals itself to be the ruptured appendix of computing: a hard drive.
Yes, for all of our wonderful computing progress (spaghetti ports to USB; mobile dual-core processors, DDR3 DRAM, insanely fast GPUs), the lowly hard drive continues to exist based off of approximately the same technology it was back in the 1970s. Spinning magnetic platters with read/write heads, saving our entire digital lives in the process.
And while they have many wonderful qualities (massive storage capacity, more so than anything but TAPE; extremely low cost), they also have a fatal flaw, which is that they break and they break hard. Platters get warped, spindles get loose, heads get misaligned, and suddenly your computer stops working and you lose the project you’ve been slaving over for the last few months (see my wife’s recent calamity for evidence and a little solace in the iPhone).