There's a rumor that Seagate is cutting back on the warranties of consumer hard drives in order to cut costs.
SweClockers reports that Seagate has decided to shorten the warranty period for most of its consumer-based hard drives in order to cut costs. Warranties will supposedly be reduced from the five-year plan down to a two-year plan.
Although Seagate hasn't announced anything official, the rumor suggests that the new warranty reduction will be applied to the Barracuda (including the Barracuda 7200.12) and Momentus Green product series. The Barracuda line features 3.5-inch HDDs spinning at 7,200 RPM and 5,900 RPM and ranging in capacities from 500 GB to 2 TB. The Momentus line consists of 2.5-inch HDDs ranging in capacities of 250 GB to 750 GB and are typically used in notebooks.
The rumor also claims that the more advanced line of Seagate HDDs – even those offered for the enterprise sector – will not be affected by the new warranty reduction, thus they will retain their current five-year plans. As Softpedia points out, those escaping reduction include the Seagate Momentus XT and Barracuda XT consumer models, the Pipeline HD and SV35 Series enterprise drives, and the self-encrypting Savvio, Cheetah, Constellation and Constellation ES HDDs.
Currently it's unknown when – or even if – the warranty reduction will come into effect. As previously mentioned, Seagate hasn't announced anything official, and the SweClockers report doesn't site any sources, so for now, take it with a grain of salt.
UPDATE: Seagate sent along this statement Friday afternoon: "Retail purchased internal drive kits for desktop (Barracuda) and laptop (Momentus) are not affected by this warranty change. Anyone that purchase an internal kit for personal use still has a 5-year warranty attached to the drive."
We then asked Seagate what drives will actually get the warranty reduction. "The warranty affects only the channel drives that are sold through distributors, which is usually in bulk," a rep told us. "All our internal drives carry the same product names, so it is understandable that someone might have seen this communication and mistook it as meaning the retail boxed kits as well."