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?