Hitachi to phase out 1.0 and 1.8-inch drives, Fujitsu scraps plans to launch them

As the flood of SSD announcements over the past couple days indicates, flash is rapidly gaining ground on traditional hard drive storage, and it may have just claimed it first victims: Hitachi has just announced that it will phase out production of 1.0 and 1.8-inch drives over the next year, and discontinue plans to launch a 1.5-inch line. Hitachi had only shipped 560,000 1.8-inch drives in the July - September quarter, representing only 3.2 percent of its total drive sales, and just a miniscule 3,000 1.0-inch drives in the same period. Hitachi says it'll keep supplying existing customers, but we're hearing that 1.0-inch production has already stopped, and that 1.8-inch production will cease by next summer.

Similarly, the rising popularity of flash in personal devices has led Fujitsu to scrap plans to develop a 1.8-inch drive line to complement its existing 2.5 and 3.5-inch drive lines. The company announced plans to enter the small drive market way back in 2005, and although it eventually entered a deal with Cornice to jointly develop the drives, it looks like that plan's been tabled for now. All in all, announcements that aren't totally surprising -- but let's hope NAND prices continue to fall, eh?