Maybe it's the growing commoditization of mechanical hard drives, or perhaps it's just the rising tide of solid-state and hybrid storage. Either way, it looks like the days of mobile hard drives with 7,200-RPM spindle speeds may be numbered—at least as far as Seagate's lineup goes.
X-bit labs got the scoop from David Burks, Seagate's Director of Marketing and Product Management, who told the site: "We are going stop building our notebook 7200rpm hard disk drives at the end of 2013."
Seagate will reportedly keep making 5,400-RPM mobile hard drives, but the company will push SSHD (a.k.a. hybrid hard drives) as alternatives to the defunct 7,200-RPM offerings. Hybrid drives have been part of Seagate's lineup for a while—we've reviewed some of them, actually. X-bit labs says third-generation offerings will arrive later this year, and Seagate will "position them for performance and capacity demanding end-users."
There's no word on whether Seagate's desktop lineup will be affected. I suspect it won't, though. Cheap 7,200-RPM hard drives seem to be the norm rather than the exception in budget desktops, and besides, I'm not sure hybrid solutions would appeal to desktop users. Unlike laptops, desktop PCs are roomy enough to accommodate both SSDs and mechanical hard drives, either as discrete volumes or combined via schemes like Intel Smart Response Technology.