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Western Digital hurt by iPad, now MacBook Air too

updated 03:50 pm EDT, Wed October 20, 2010

WD warns of iPad effect, compounded by MacBook Air

Western Digital warned late Tuesday that the iPad was leading a charge that could hurt its business. It gave a lower than expected outlook for the fall as he expected Apple and rivals to slow the growth of traditional, spinning hard drives by 10 to 20 percent over the next several months or more. CEO John Coyne tried to reassure investors by asking them to look to the long term, where he saw regular hard drives still leading mass storage for the next 10 years.

The company has lost about 35 percent of its stock value in 2010 after reduced demand in the computer market. Apple has had the iPad on the market since April, but WD has virtually no presence in flash memory.

Analysts and market trackers have suggested an iPad effect at work on the computer business. It has mostly affected netbooks, but the tablet's use of flash memory has been an advantage as it both results in a lighter, smaller device than a netbook as well as an instant-on device.

WD has only sometimes been used in Macs, but the new MacBook Air suggests Apple is looking gradually to cut rotating drives from at least its portable line. Current SSDs are too expensive to be used in mainstream notebooks and desktops as they often cost several hundred dollars, but they are now inexpensive enough for light-demand systems like the new Air. Space and battery savings are also usually negligible in these larger systems.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Roehlstation

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Why Not

    Start making SSD....


  1. polendo

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Apr 2003



    Of course! start marking SSD´s. Don´t be the Kodak & Polaroid that refused at the time to change to the digital era (at least on the commercial side of photography).

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Unlike Acer's CEO, WDC is not in denial

    A bit late, but WDC has SSD on the drawing board.

  1. dseidel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2009


    Where's my VCR?

    "...CEO John Coyne tried to reassure investors by asking them to look to the long term, where he saw regular hard drives still leading mass storage for the next 10 years."

    Hey, still looking for VCR movies at (the now bankrupt) Blockbuster ? How can ANYONE in the tech business make a statement like that? Companies are ramping up to move to the new technology (duh). Rapidly going to get bigger, cheaper and better. Lower energy, faster performance, reliability like it's from the future....hmmm...I'll take the unstable spinning drive, please !

  1. SillyPooh

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: May 2000


    How about...

    the fact that every product coming from WD that has a drive in it dies after 6 months of use! I've never seen electronics fail so constantly before. The drives themselves hardly make it past the one year mark. If I had better musical abilities, I could make you an orchestra out of those failing clicking drives of yours, John!

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    It seems that there were a lot of unhappy

    people that thought the MBA had too small an amount of memory and it seems they would still prefer using hard drives. I'd like to see a mix of flash and harddrive in a notebook. For some reason I don't think many Windows PC vendors are going to be turning to flash memory for storage since the prices are higher and Apple practically controls the flash memory market.

  1. facebook_Hat

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2010



    This was the first time I won something on the internet and my prize was an IPAD!
    I will share with you how easy it is to participate.

    just register your email on the site follow the instructions of the second page and wait.

    Good luck!

  1. samirsshah

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010


    WD; court non-Apple tablet makers aggressively

    I would not mind having 500 GB or even 250 GB on my Samsung Galaxy Tab. 7" and 9" tablet is your market. Apple buys flash in bulk, other OEMs are not so lucky.

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