Western Digital eyes SSD market cautiously

Seagate has already made it clear that it plans to enter the solid-state drive market next year with enterprise products. So, what’s the plan for Seagate’s biggest competitor? The folks at The Register had a talk with Western Digital Marketing Senior VP Richard Rutledge to get an idea of WD’s SSD strategy.

Here’s what Rutledge had to say:

“Western Digital enters markets that exist, announces products when they are available, and runs a tight model with opportunities greater than resources such that we take a controlled, methodical, sequential, incremental approach to product portfolio expansion.
“We do not currently supply to either several platform categories [game console, car, phone] or product categories [SAS/FC-AL on 10K/15K, SSD]. This said, we know [and] understand each of these segments and are open to enter any [or] all of them when they present appropriate opportunity.”

Rutledge elaborated a little bit, saying he characterizes solid-state drives as “fast at reads and fragile,” whereas he thinks hard drives are “safe with no endurance or retention issues.” Nonetheless, The Register says WD is mulling an entry in the low-end solid-state storage market with devices for handheld and mobile platforms. WD is particularly interested in “SmartBooks”—devices half-way between smart phones and netbooks.

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    • Fighterpilot
    • 11 years ago

    Ah yes,more good “buy stocks now as we head into a major recession’ advice…

      • PRIME1
      • 11 years ago

      If you have money, it is a buyer’s market. Same with real estate. It’s only if you are trying to sell that you will take it up the corn pipe.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    If anyone’s interested, now’s a good time to buy WD stock. It’s at 11.11 now, I bought it a few weeks ago when it was at 13.16

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      If you could post more reasoning that would be nice, there’s a buttload of stocks that have lost 20% in the last two weeks heh so it’s not sufficient reason on its own 🙂

      • Anomymous Gerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Oh dear, that kind of reasoning (i.e. none) is why people go broke “investing” in the stock market.

        • moose17145
        • 11 years ago

        At least he is trying, which is more than most people can say, and his reasoning is NOT flawed, it is CORRECT. If i wasnt in college and so damn poor i would be dropping every dime i had into the stock market right now and laughing and investing even more everytime i went down. THAT kind of logic turns you into a millionair. I got 40+ years before i retire, so go ahead and lets see this mother bottom out! I got nothing but time to let it go back up at this point in my life. Altho i would be investing in extremely aggressive growth mutual funds… not individual stocks.. so its a bit different, but not by much. The point is the stock went down in price. There is no promise it won’t go up, but when it takes a decent fall thats usually a good time to buy (unless it looks like the company will be going out of business, which i seriously doubt WD is going to).

          • Anomymous Gerbil
          • 11 years ago

          Oh dear. Good luck with that.

    • larchy
    • 11 years ago

    Interesting that he says WD don’t supply any current game console drives. I remember pulling a lot of WD drives out of original Xboxes (the other supplier I saw being Seagate) – guess they either got squeezed out of the current gen market or it just wasn’t profitable enough.

    Still, all current SSDs have problems (except possibly the SLC X25) and the cheaper consumer MLC units are atrocious. I wouldn’t expect a reputable vendor like WD to ship rubbish to make a fast buck like OCZ. They’ll probably wait until there are some decent controllers around and SLC prices are more sensible.

      • Forge
      • 11 years ago

      Actually, that WD tool has NFI what he’s talking about. Not only did WD supply a large number of the Xbox 1 hard disks, they also supply all of the Xbox360 hard drives. The new 60GB disks might not be WD, but the 20GB and 120GB ones were.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    SmartBooks.
    Holy portmanteau, Batman!

      • grantmeaname
      • 11 years ago

      now with twice the portmanteau, for double that portmanteau flavor we all love!

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        For some reason, the word “smart book” summoned a scene from WALL-E where the captain told the old book to read itself, as if it were modern like everything else.

    • Zymergy
    • 11 years ago

    That was the most wordy, mush-mouthed, and roundabout monologue of way to say “No” that I have ever read…

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      You clearly haven’t read enough legal documents and/or mail.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 11 years ago

      Actually it sounded quite business-like. I’ve read many such statements out of business textbooks (that is, when I read them, which was rarely). He did lay out WD’s business strategy for SSD’s. That is that WD will enter the market when SSD’s become mainstream, which won’t be for a few years yet.

      For example, “opportunities greater than resources” means that WD will enter when oppurtunities (market growth, mass adoption) is greater than the cost it will take to get the equipment to manufacture them. Right now the equipment to make them is very expensive, with almost zero growth and sales right now. I imagine late 2009 is when we’ll see SSD’s really start to ramp up in the market place.

    • sdack
    • 11 years ago

    /[<... a controlled, methodical, sequential, incremental approach ...<]/ Is that the same as saying "a careful approach"? Taking control is already a good, first method and doing things incrementally implies a sequence, does it not? Or was he scared by the question?

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