Last week Samsung announced the SSD mini-card form factor for netbooks and ultraportable laptops. The question this posed is: what does this mean for 1.8in drives? The answer: curtains.
The news breaks via DigiTimes, which claims notebook makers in Taiwan have been informed they will suffer heavy shortages following Samsung's decision to phase out the drives. "Toshiba and Samsung were the only two makers that still supplied 1.8-inch HDDs, but Samsung is turning its focus to solid state drives (SSDs), leaving Toshiba the only supplier left in the market," says the site's source.
So with Toshiba looking once more like the lone player (HD DVD anyone?) it seems the days of 1.8in hard drives are numbered. Of course a major part of the reason for this is their dwindling need in the MP3 player market which - other than notable exceptions such as Archos' PMPs and the iPod Classic - have largely been dumped in favour of flash memory.
Certainly this looks like a play from Samsung to try and push through the mini-card quickly given that notebook manufacturers look likely to be left with little else for their smallest devices. Personally I don't care what format is settled upon as long as it means universal, tiny, high speed, affordable SSDs on the market as soon as humanly possible.
So how long until the knives are out for 2.5in drives...?