Hitachi Editorial

Hitachi’s new CEO faced a small crisis when one of its biggest customers, Apple, opted to replace its hard drive memory with a rival flash memory device. We took a higher-level logical approach by outlining where flash competed—and didn’t compete—with Hitachi’s hard drives. The result is a more balanced look at the business that puts the flash threat into perspective, while providing a call to action for the hard drive industry.
Hitachi Editorial

Executive Commentary
Hiroaki Nakanishi, CEO Hitachi Storage
Cutting Through the Noise in the Hard Disk Drive/Flash Memory Debate

As I watch my CEO counterparts jump into the current media debate generated from Apple’s choice of flash memory for its new nano music player, I have an inclination to join in and dismiss it all—especially the outrageous predictions from a major flash competitor. Flash has been in lower-capacity digital music players all along and is now moving up into the 2 to 4 gigabyte (GB) storage players, as we expected. It’s a stretch, however, to say flash will now dominate other consumer electronic devices and absurd to speculate it will soon be able to compete with hard disk drives in laptop computers and other IT applications, where we enjoy huge cost and capacity advantages.

Rather than brush it away, however, I think we should look at this as a siren call and reminder that we are in an intensely competitive business. Given that, we should use the current controversy as an opportunity to take a fresh look at how hard disk drives and flash compete.

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