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Fujitsu Ditching Hard Drive Business

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 3 comments

Fujitsu Limited announced Tuesday that it will cease manufacturing hard disk drive (HDD) heads on March 31, 2009.

The decision comes at a 56 million dollar facilities-related loss to the company, as it already invested into a component manufacturing plant located in Nagano City, Japan.  Fujitsu will retain its employees though, and the plant will continue to make other components, such as printed circuit boards for servers.

As for Fujitsu's overall HDD business, the company is in continuing negatiations with several companies over a possible sale.  According to Yahoo! Tech News, Toshiba has stated that it is in talks about a possible purchase of Fujitsu's HDD business.

Fujitsu already exited the plasma TV segment back in late 2007, claiming it was due to unsatisfactory returns on its investments.  With competition from other HDD manufactures and a poor economy, as well as the looming popularity of solid state drives (SSDs), Fujitsu's choice to also exit the HDD market seems justified.  If the economy does not improve and if SSDs continue to gain mainstream popularity, it may be inevitable that other HDD manufactures will be faced with a similar fate.

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  • -1 Hide
    Tindytim , January 28, 2009 11:36 AM
    Wow, LED Backlit LCDs, and SSDs are killing old tech companies.

    You'd think they'd attempt to jump on the new bandwagon while the technology is still developing, rather than abandoning ship to all of their other decaying technologies.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , January 28, 2009 12:04 PM
    This is nothing to do with the "advance" of SSD technology. In 2008, SSD shipments were less than 0.1% of HDD volumes. The HDD industry shipped well over 500 million drives last year and the industry's woes are more to do with competitive pressures and the economic meltdown.
  • 0 Hide
    nekatreven , January 28, 2009 3:30 PM
    hard driverThis is nothing to do with the "advance" of SSD technology. In 2008, SSD shipments were less than 0.1% of HDD volumes. The HDD industry shipped well over 500 million drives last year and the industry's woes are more to do with competitive pressures and the economic meltdown.


    Current sales don't matter at all. Those numbers don't change the fact that the switch to SSDs is still coming up fast. Consider that you can already get SSDs with capacities of 100s of gigs for what some of the fast 32 and 64gb drives were selling for not all that long ago. Progress in SSDs has come at a relatively speedy pace.

    Although it may still be awhile before the sales numbers change between HDDs and SSDs, when you look at that from the perspective of the time that it takes to shut down and sell a global HDD manufacturing and sales group, they are out of time. That is, if they actually wait until SSDs take over...no one will have a reason to buy them anymore. Unless you think companies like buying out competitors in markets that have already died, and only have warranty obligations left.

    I agree that economical factors and an apparent inability to compete are center stage, but upcoming (within a few years) market shifts threaten to greatly devalue this entire division and that has got to be a great encouragement for them to get this over with; while they still can. To argue otherwise seems ignorant.