The number one hard drive manufacturer predicts the future of the desktop and notebook hard drive markets

There has been a quiet battle between the desktop and notebook PC markets the last few years, a battle that will no doubt end with the mobile market taking over the desktop scene. Technological advances in computing are producing faster, more powerful components in smaller packages and manufacturing these parts are becoming cheaper due to improvements in processes.

It's also no secret that the average consumer wants everything in the palm of their hands, ready to go wherever they need to go, and able to fit in the smallest of spaces while still being able to perform like their desktop counterparts. For this reason we can expect to see a decrease in desktop sales while notebook and mobile computing products are taken off the shelves more quickly.

Recent market data analysis from Seagate Technology details what the hard disk drive industry expects in the near future. According to Seagate, the company claims there was a 20% increase in the number of desktop drives shipped from 2000 to 2007, roughly 120 million and 150 million respectively.

On the other hand, notebook hard disk drive shipments show a 400% increase in shipments from 25 million in 2000 to roughly 100 million in 2007. According to Seagate, though the growth of notebook drive shipments has since slowed down we should still expect to see a 200% increase in drive shipments from now until 2011 where the number of notebook drives in the hands of consumers will surpass the number of desktop drives out there.

With the shift from desktops to the notebook computers in mind, Seagate drew a speculative roadmap which shows the percentage of each of the various notebook hard disk drive capacities shipping throughout the world on a quarterly basis until the 2nd half of 2011. Seagate hints at 500GB notebook drives in the 2nd quarter of 2008 while 750GB and 1TB drives are predicted to penetrate the market in the late-2010/early-2011 time frame.

Currently, Seagate's latest mobile hard drive line, the 5400.4 Momentus series, tops out at 250GB. Seagate's 250GB notebook drive is a latecomer among manufacturers such as Samsung, Western Digital and even Hitachi with its current financial troubles.

Seagate is even further behind the competition in capacity with recent launches of the 320GB notebook drive from Toshiba. However, that has not stopped Seagate from earning the number 2 spot in notebook hard drive sales according to a Seagate's research group.

The gap between desktop and mobile drive capacities is narrowing very quickly with new developments in nanotechnology and platter density.  As far as drive capacity goes, desktop drives will always take the crown, but the desktop PC market stands no chance against the demand of the consumer for mobile and ultra-mobile devices.

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