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Toshiba to double production of 1.8" hard drives by March 2004

Toshiba announced a new strategy to increase production volumes of 1.8" hard drives. Today at the press conference company representatives said that by March 2004 Toshiba plans to double monthly hard disk production from the current 300 thousands to 600 thousands.

Today Toshiba is the world-largest maker of 1.8" HDDs anyway that controls 98% of the world market. Its primary customers are manufacturers of various compact storage, audio players, comms, car electronics and some sub-notebooks. According to Toshiba, the boom of demand for 1.8" hard disks is still ahead, and by 2006 the market should grow by at least 8 times to make 25 million units.

As you know, Toshiba entered the 1.8" HDD market in 2000 with its 2GB model. Today it ships 20, 30 and 40 GB models 5-8mm thick.

The new strategy implies the increased number of outsourcing orders from Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Industries. (The corresponding agreement was singed as far back as in January.) MKE will make hard drives for Toshiba at PT Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Peripherals Indonesia. All such products will be sold under Toshiba´s trademarks.

Besides, in May 2002 MKE stopped the volume production of desktop HDDs, having passed all related facilities to Maxtor on August 21, 2002. Since 1994, MKE, as a partner of Quantum, made 104 million hard disks. Then it continued its partnership with Maxtor, which bought Quantum HDD Business Unit in April 2001.

And further is some brief information about Toshiba´s new rival in this market. From March 2004 GS Magicdrive, a subsidiary of GS Magicstor, plans to launch volume production of 1.8" hard drives. First, we should see the 40, 30, 20 and 15 GB 1.8" drives. GS Magicdrive´s production plan for 2004 is 2.66 million units; in 2005 the company plans to ship 10 million units already, with 20 million planned for 2006. So I guess Toshiba won´t be left alone in this market anyway.

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