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Author: gdf55 Three stars, 500 posts Ticker Guide Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1282  
Subject: Re: Buying WDC Date: 1/6/2011 3:32 PM
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I'm way behind on my reading so I didn't see your post about Seagate vs. Western Digital. I'm pretty involved in the technology end of this but haven't paid any attention to the financials.

As far as the technology goes, both companies are essentially commodity hardware manufacturers with very low margins and lots of competition. Other big companies in this space include Maxstor and Hitachi. I've used all four brands interchangeably. IMHO, Hitachi has been the most consistent leader the past few years in terms of leading-edge products. The OEM market is pathetic because people aren't buying PCs in the quantities they used to. The enterprise storage and cloud storage space is looking pretty good, though.

One last data point. No matter where you buy your drives, if you're using them for something real, you plan to replace every 3 years. The chance of drive failure goes way up after that point. Of course, in 3 years, you can typically buy 2x to 4x as much drive for the same cost as your original purchase.

The most interesting product in the hard drive space right now is ioSafe. Too bad they're privately held.

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