WSJ: Samsung may sell hard drive biz

The recent consolidation in the spinning-platters storage business may continue, if a report from the Wall Street Journal this morning is correct.

The Journal says Samsung is looking to sell its hard drive business, which is losing money, so it can invest the proceeds elsewhere. The firm is reportedly seeking $1.5 billion in exchange for its hard drive unit, but it may be willing to take less than a billion. The Journal’s source cites Seagate as a potential buyer, although Seagate had no official comment on the matter.

There may be more to the story behind the Journal’s paywall, but that’s what we can glean so far. We’ll keep an eye on this one. Samsung’s reported desire to exit the hard drive business isn’t exactly a shock, given the rise of solid-state storage and Samsung’s own position as one of the world’s top memory manufacturers.

Comments closed
    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    So my question is…what happens to warranties when a drive maker is bought out?

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      Almost always are honored. Why would a acquisition change the warranty length and damage the acquiree(?)’s reputation?

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 9 years ago

    Too bad. I love my 1TB F3.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 9 years ago

    I doubt Seagate is going to let WD buy another competitor and become even bigger. Then again, I’m not sure what money’s left to be made in mechanical drives. Sure, we all need ’em, but their performance will never beat SSD’s, so it would seem all they need to do is “fast enough.” Or at least that’s all they’re GOING to do. Whether or not, they could push up into 10k rpm, well they haven’t thus far (besides Raptor) for the masses, so why start now?

    I keep hoping that someone’ll do another hybrid drive like Seagate did last year, but with a larger drive with more space (for both the drive and the flash part) with higher speed. But it would seem Intel might sate this need with their upcoming SB chipset, which might do it better.

    • RMSe17
    • 9 years ago

    Nooooo!!! Samsung drive or no drive.

    • vikramsbox
    • 9 years ago

    This is NOT good news at all. Samsung’s HDD’s are amongst the best out there today, if not the best. They have good performance, and stay cooler than WD or Seagate. What more does one need?
    In my rig, my Samsung consistently stays 5 C lower than Seagate and 8-10C lower than WD’s Blue.
    Don’t sell. And definitely not to Seagate. I hope the news is wrong.

      • sydbot
      • 9 years ago

      I was looking forward to consolidating my Seagate and WD’s out of my system with a 4th Samsung, looks like that may not happen now. Toshiba is not enough of a known quantity to me, I don’t want to pay the monetary WD tax or the reliability Seagate tax; Samsungs work great for my storage drives.

    • Spotpuff
    • 9 years ago

    Please, not to Seagate. Their drives have done nothing but die on me every time I buy one.

    • AlvinTheNerd
    • 9 years ago

    Very sad indeed.

    Samsung’s F3 is easily the best 1TB mechanical drive out there. The fact that having the best product in the computer industry doesn’t increase your marketshare and turn a profit is a sad situation indeed.

    Instead we are going to be looking forward to ‘the best marketeer wins’

    Here to hoping that the SSD market grows and becomes cheaper than mechanical. A duopoly is not enough for real market competition.

      • Dr. Zhivago
      • 9 years ago

      “Instead we are going to be looking forward to ‘the best marketeer wins'”

      That worked for Intel in the Pentium 4 days…

      Yeah, I just said that. 🙂

      • pedro
      • 9 years ago

      I’ve been a huge fan of Spinpoint HDDs for ages now. Sourcing them where I live is the big problem. They make some very quiet drives. I was planning on picking one up, in fact, as yet another of my WD (640 GB/dual platters) HDDs has died on me…

      • Ushio01
      • 9 years ago

      The F3 may be the best 3.5″ HDD but it’s OEM sales of 2.5″ notebook HDD’s that makes most of the money now and Samsung isn’t doing well in that area.

      • Farting Bob
      • 9 years ago

      Not even best marketing team wins, its the company that is most willing to brown nose the likes of HP, Dell and apple to include their drives exclusively that win, as with much in the PC industry these days. WD have been gaining market share over recent years at the expense of Seagate mostly thanks to consistantly good quality and trying to be first to market on new sizes but even they need to fight to include their drives in OEM systems against largely inferior drives.

      • stdRaichu
      • 9 years ago

      Agreed for the 3.5″ sector – between the click-tastic Barracuda LP and the we-don’t-support-RAID-or-linux WD GP, I believe I’m soon to be out of options for reasonably priced drives in home NAS units.

      Currently running with six 2TB WD GP’s in RAID5 (1 hot spare) with the intellipark turned off, with Samsung drives in the backup box. Their 2TB “enterprise” SATA drives (which basically equate to having a TLER-enabled firmware) are currently 2.7 times the price for the same amount of space. One less competitor means there’s nowt to keep WD and Seagate in check.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 9 years ago

        What do you mean they don’t support RAID or Linux?

        How do you even go about not supporting an OS?

          • stdRaichu
          • 9 years ago

          Lots of linux NAS users, such as myself, have had a lot of problems with seagate and WD drives under linux – especially the “LCC” (Load Cycle Count) head parking issue. The ‘cuda LP’s also suffer from a similar issue; both are caused by the drive attempting to park the heads after a few seconds of idling, something that on linux boxes especially results in the heads parking and unparking in rapid succession, increasing wear and noise. I’ve used a bootable DOS tool to turn off head parking on my WD greens; a friend had interminable clicking in his QNAP with the seagate 2TB LP’s and the drives would temporarily “freeze”.

          WD (not sure about seagate) used to have a firmware option to enable TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery, essentially a technology to stop the HD going into a looooong recovery cycle in the event of a bad block, which would cause it to drop out of a RAID array) but it’s now been removed. When pressed on the issue WD have basically said “we only support windows so can’t give you any advice on how to configure the drive under linux. And if you’re using RAID you should use the RE drives”. It’s not like putting one of these drives in a linux box would void your warranty, it’s more that they’re tuned for windows I/O patterns and don’t have any configuration options.

          Synology even have a whole subforum dedicated to it:

          [url<]http://forum.synology.com/enu/viewforum.php?f=124[/url<]

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 9 years ago

            I’m slightly surprised because you would think lots of servers around the world use WD drives with Linux.

            But I’m not totally surprised they don’t want to spend the money to support desktop users using Linux.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    Wow, with these guys looking to sell, and Hitachi selling its business, there aren’t going to be too many players left in the mechanical HDD business. Kind of premature to see this sector consolidating, don’t you think? Just WD, Seagate, and Fujitsu, right?

      • srg86
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, according to the bit-tech article I read, it will just be WD, Seagate and Toshiba (they mentioned that WD bought out Fujitsu’s drive business).

      From 50 something in the 80s down to three…

        • Ushio01
        • 9 years ago

        Toshiba bought out Fujitsu with WD buying out Hitachi.

          • srg86
          • 9 years ago

          I see, so that’s it, still the end result is the same; WD, Seagate, Toshiba and that’s it!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        Oh, missed out on the Fujitsu sale and forgot about Toshiba, but still…only 3, that’s nutso.

      • dpaus
      • 9 years ago

      [quote<]"Kind of premature to see this sector consolidating, don't you think?"[/quote<] Given the capital and lead time required, nope. And I say that as a guy who still has storage cases on the shelves beside his desk for his 5.25" floppy disks. (did you notice how I [i<]didn't[/i<] say 'for my 5" floppy" there?) EDIT: and I was so focussed on not saying that, I ignored proof-reading the rest of it, and had to go back and edit my other spelling mistakes - maybe the real '5" floppy" is my brain. EDIT-EDIT: had to go back [i<]twice[/i<] = theory confirmed

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        The net result (aside from your floppy) is that drive prices will go up despite decreasing demand – production has to be following suit.

          • dpaus
          • 9 years ago

          which will have the inevitable effect of driving faster adoption of SSDs.

        • indeego
        • 9 years ago

        Still doesn’t make sense to me, but whatevs, keep editing.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      Flash is the future, it shouldn’t be long before they can get competitive in $/GB then it’s all over for spinning platters.

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