Fujitsu’s 1.8″ drive bites the dust
Claiming competition from flash, Fujitsu announced it was halting development of its own 1.8″ drive.

Fujitsu is retreating from a market they hadn’t yet entered, which is not the same as an established player quitting. But Fujitsu has listened to potential customers who are telling them that speed, power and weight are more important than capacity for the handheld device market.

Is that a surprise?
It shouldn’t be. Every storage form factor migration has occurred when the smaller size reached a capacity point that enabled the application, even though it cost more per megabyte. 5.25″ disks started at 5 MB, too small for anything beyond MS-DOS PCs, but once they hit about 100 MB, all the Unix workstations and small servers started using them, killing the 8″ drive in a couple of years.

That should be why Intel is starting it’s flash drive business at price points below the cheapest disk. Not suitable for everyone, but good enough for many.

The StorageMojo take
While hard drives have wiped out other hard drives, and optical CD and now USB thumb drives have killed floppies and Zip drives, I think this is the beginning of a trend: flash drives killing off small form factor disk drives.

With flash prices dropping 70% a year and disks 45%, the trend is inexorable: flash will just get more attractive every year. Add in the power, weight and durability advantages, and the prognosis for the 1.8″ drive is grim.

Comments welcome, of course.