Have you ever heard of Rodime, an electronics company based in Glenrothes, Scotland? How about Integral Peripherals? Or the old giant, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC)? What product was common to all these companies? Your guessed it. Hard disk drives.
Defunct Hard Disk Drive Makers
According to Wikipedia over 200 companies were involved in the manufacturing hard disk drives at one time or another. Most in the industry which requires heavy investment in Research and Development have vanished through bankruptcy and acquisition. Even Apple was in the game for about two years beginning in 1984, producing in house their proprietary model, Lisa, a 20MB widget drive, before they too left the hard drive business. Today’s survivors are Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital.
Besides competing on features such as hard disk data density and latencies, these businesses have began supporting new, smaller form factors that enable the ever-reduced physical size of computing devices.
Consolidation Of Hard Disk Drive Makers
So what is about the hard drive business that makes it so hard for even the biggest players to keep up with industry demands? Technology? Money? Resources? All of the above?
We’ll begin by looking at Seagate Technology a hard disk drive manufacturer which has adopted a very effective business model. Next will be another American giant in the world of hard disk drive design, Western Digital. Then finally we will be discussing, Toshiba, who recently began producing hard disk drives designed for desktop computing.
Over the next several articles you will find here on the Blog we will begin to address this question. We will also present a brief story on how the leading hard disk drive makers got to where they are today.