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I have also been lurking the IOM boards and may be ready to make a move. However, can someone please clarify a few things...

(1) The Clik! drive seems to be the reason for the recent run-up. How is this going to compare with flash memory (which seems to continue plummeting in price)? Any competing products coming online soon?
(2) The class-action lawsuit for the product preannouncement and then stock drop. As I understand, there hasn't been a resolution yet.... can't this have a serious impact on earnings?
(3) ZIP drive seems to have had its 15-minutes. Several computer mfgs. seem to offer ZIP as an option, but is 100-MB enough? I hear the LS-120 stinks, but I also hear SONY will be rolling out their "Zip-killer" product out soon. Any insight here? Do you that continued sales can make up the multi-million dollar advertising for Zip?
(4) JAZ drive - ok so the Jaz2 hasn't been too big a hit. I hear this SyQuest SPARQ drive (only 1 GB) is doing very well... Any comments? Does IOM plan to make it more cost competitive? (both drive/cartridge)?

Any other analysis would be greatly appreciated!
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z3 wrote:
<<(1) The Clik! drive seems to be the reason for the recent run-up. How is this going to compare with flash memory (which seems to continue plummeting in price)? Any competing products coming online soon?>>

This one I couldn't comment about. I really don't know, but it seems like OEMs are coming on board for the Clik, which is what really matters I guess.

<<(2) The class-action lawsuit for the product preannouncement and then stock drop. As I understand, there hasn't been a resolution yet.... can't this have a serious impact on earnings?>>

I seriously doubt this will affect Iomega in a serious, long term manner, even if Iomega loses (which I still doubt, although there are people out there who disagree).

<<(3) ZIP drive seems to have had its 15-minutes. Several computer mfgs. seem to offer ZIP as an option, but is 100-MB enough? I hear the LS-120 stinks, but I also hear SONY will be rolling out their "Zip-killer" product out soon. Any insight here? Do you that continued sales can make up the multi-million dollar advertising for Zip?>>

This is what I really wanted to address. I keep beating on this poor horse over and over, but what makes you think that the Zip has had its 15 minutes? Think about the most amount of files (realistically, please) you've ever wanted to keep on a floppy. Has it ever exceeded 100MB? 50MB? Even 20MB? Personally, in terms of keeping files (spreadsheets, text documents, graphics that I needed for classes), I've never surpassed 30MB. I don't foresee 100MB floppies becoming insufficient for a good, long time. If you're dealing with disk requirements that are significantly higher than 100MB, you're probably doing backups and the like, in which case other alternatives such as tape, or Jaz/SparQ are much better.

As to Sony beating out Iomega... well... I don't see that happening. I stated this in a post once before, and here it comes again:

It's going to take a serious change in the market before the huge installed base of Zip users trash their Zip drives in favor of a competing device.

<<(4) JAZ drive - ok so the Jaz2 hasn't been too big a hit. I hear this SyQuest SPARQ drive (only 1 GB) is doing very well... Any comments? Does IOM plan to make it more cost competitive? (both drive/cartridge)?>>

Where have you heard Jaz2 isn't doing well? My understanding is that the reason it hasn't been "doing well" is because there aren't enough to sell - doesn't Dell have them backordered?

Agree that Iomega really needs to work on making Jaz/Jaz2 more cost-competitive.

Winston
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I am fairly new to the Board and I have been holding Iom long for a while now and I have some of the same questions that Z3 expressed. I am looking for a good point to add to my holdings and I am encouraged by the news on the Clik! I also keep reading about the Zip drive being available as an option from a number of OEM's but I don't see a lot of them being sold. Also, how are earnings going to affect the stock this year. I have heard that estimates are calling basically for a break even year in 1998. Can the Company accelerate back to profitability prior to that. In other words, how conservative are the earnings estimates and do we have a chance to exceed those estimates?

Obviously, since i am considering increasing my holdings, I am thinking positive.
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Frojan wrote:
<<...I also keep reading about the Zip drive being available as an option from a number of OEM's but I don't see a lot of them being sold.>>

This was a bit unclear. You don't know of a lot of OEM Zips being sold, you don't know of a lot of Zips being sold period, or what?

<<Also, how are earnings going to affect the stock this year. I have heard that estimates are calling basically for a break even year in 1998. Can the Company accelerate back to profitability prior to that. In other words, how conservative are the earnings estimates and do we have a chance to exceed those estimates?>>

Well, since Iomega has already told everyone that they're not expecting to make money this year, I think that the earnings news has already been factored into the stock price. As to when the company can return to profitability... that's anyone's guess. Iomega sounds like they *hope* they can do it this year, but they seem very confident of being able to by latest next year. As to how conservative the estimates are... that's anyone's guess. The only people who would have any idea are the Iomega people who keep track of these things...

Winston
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Hey Winston, Thanks for the response and sorry my question/comment was not clear, but i meant the internal Zip drives being sold directly to the OEM's. I know that a number of manufacturers are offering them as an option, but I guess i am wondering if they are selling many of them. Do we have access to this information? Me and several of my friends who own the stock long are just not seeing many of them in the market. Thanks for the info.
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Frojan wrote:
<<Hey Winston, Thanks for the response and sorry my question/comment was not clear, but i meant the internal Zip drives being sold directly to the OEM's. I know that a number of manufacturers are offering them as an option, but I guess i am wondering if they are selling many of them. Do we have access to this information? Me and several of my friends who own the stock long are just not seeing many of them in the market. Thanks for the info.>>

(this is emailed and posted, just so you all know)

Ahh...

Truth be told, I don't know, and I don't know where I would be able to get those kinds of specific numbers. If you really wanted to know, you could probably call investor relations and kick up a fuss until they tell you. However, two things make me fairly certain that OEM Zips are doing well...

First, according to the conference call, OEM sales are increasing percentage-wise. Unless management is lying to us of course, and despite what some of the more rabid Iomega naysayers on this board may think, I seriously doubt (well, that's an understatement - let it be known that I fart in the general direction of people who make that assertion ;)) that management *is* lying to us.

Second (and more compelling to me), OEMs wouldn't continue to offer something that isn't selling.

I'm personally guessing that OEMs are installing Zips in computers that go to offices that deal with large files, such as maybe accounting, almost certainly graphics design, etc etc, so unless you work in those fields, you probably won't be seeing a huge number of OEM Zips. I doubt most private individuals think they're going to need a Zip when they buy a computer, and so end up buying one afterwards, y'know?

I might be adding my own minuscule contribution to Iomega's revenues soon. Considering getting an ATAPI drive for my bro's new computer.

Winston
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(1) Fair enough... although I have not seen nor used the Clik!, the idea of very small, very portable 40MB storage sounds cool. As I understand, IOM did another one of these preannounce-but-don't-deliver things, but hopefully we'll all get a chance to see Clik! up close in the next few months.
(2) Fair enough again, but I'd still have to say that oustanding lawsuits can be a serious potential problem. Didn't Nomai also win the lawsuit/rights to mfg. Zip comaptible disks? After all, this is where IOM will make the killing - selling lots of media, and not just the drives...
(3) Here I disagree a bit. Back in the "old" days of DOS and the Mac, you used to be able to boot and use your computer off a floppy. Today's that's no longer really the case, even with the 100MB disks. In addition, with the proliferation of CD-quality audio, video clips, etc. off the Internet, storage requirements are simply going to shoot through the roof. Look at it as a percentage to today's largest hard disks... now you can get a computer with a 16.8GB disk. You would need 170 ZIP disks to back up your hard drive, roughly the equivalent of 170 old HD disks to back up those old "huge" 250 MB drives that used to ship with 486 machines. <grin> We may not need the space now, but I guarantee we will want the space in the near future.

I do have to admit that I recently bought a SparQ 1GB drive and love it. It is extremely fast (a bit slower than hard disk) but very transportable and very large. You can easily back up large chunks of CD programs, audio files, etc. etc., and the cost is right! You have a point that there is a large ZIP installed base... however, there is a MUCH larger installed base of 1.44MB floppy drives, and are many people still using them?

Because of these opinions above, I think...

(4) The Jaz2 product will be very important to IOM's future profitability. Here I need more information and clarity, but I see the cost and SCSI interface and the media cost to be serious issues! (Someone misposted that a 3-pack was $150. In fact, a SINGLE cartridge runs about $150, and a THREE pack will cost $400!!!) Who's going to pay that kind of premium?!

--Original Message
z3 wrote:
<<(1) The Clik! drive seems to be the reason for the <snip>

<<(2) The class-action lawsuit for the product preannouncement and then stock drop. As I understand, <snip>

<<(3) ZIP drive seems to have had its 15-minutes. Several computer mfgs. seem to offer ZIP as an option,
This is what I really wanted to address. I keep beating on this poor horse over and over, but what <snip>
As to Sony beating out Iomega... well... I don't see that happening. I stated this in a post once before, and here it comes again:

It's going to take a serious change in the market before the huge installed base of Zip users trash their Zip drives in favor of a competing device.

<<(4) JAZ drive - ok so the Jaz2 hasn't been too big a hit. I hear this SyQuest SPARQ drive (only 1 GB) is doing very well... Any comments? Does IOM plan to make it more cost competitive? (both drive/cartridge)?>>
Where have you heard Jaz2 isn't doing well? My understanding is that the reason it hasn't been "doing well" is because there aren't enough to sell - doesn't Dell have them backordered?

Agree that Iomega really needs to work on making Jaz/Jaz2 more cost-competitive.

Winston
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z3 said:
<<(Someone misposted that a 3-pack was $150. In fact, a SINGLE cartridge runs about $150, and a THREE pack will cost $400!!!)
...
You would need 170 ZIP disks to back up your hard drive, roughly the equivalent of 170 old HD disks to back up those old "huge" 250 MB drives that used to ship with 486 machines. <grin> We may not need the space now, but I guarantee we will want the space in the near future.>>

I believe they were talking about Jaz cartriges, not Jaz2.

How many times do Winston and several others on this board have to agree that Zip isn't a good full-disk-backup solution with the size of today's drives? Jeez! We know already. Zip is good for sharing files with pals, for taking work home, etc.... Your friend just *has* to see that soxmas.avi (a 50+MB South Park thingy), and you don't want to give them a $30(?) Sparq or $50 Jaz disk? Give 'em a cheap old Zip! This is the same reason that someone else around here has been pushing the idea of even smaller capacity Zip disks. Maybe Zip won't be the floppy replacement (biting my tongue), but whatever it is, I'd bet my ass it won't be a Gig.
Come to think of it, I am betting my ass.

AP


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>(1) Fair enough... although I have not seen nor used >the Clik!, the idea of very small, very portable 40MB >storage sounds cool. As I understand, IOM did another >one of these preannounce-but-don't-deliver things, but >hopefully we'll all get a chance to see Clik! up close >in the next few months.

Ioptics is developing OROM technology (Optical ROM). The card/storage medium is smaller than a flash card and stores up to 128MB of memory. Access time is around 10 milliseconds, the cost estimate is as low as 2 cents per megabyte.
Furthermore, Superdisk is gaining more acceptance (120Mb/1.44Mb drives). Are either of these technologies/products a serious threat to the Zip or Clik?

Personally, I feel that OROM is perfect for replacing bulky CD-Players - without moving parts (motors), it has some advantages: a) shock-free b) less moving parts = less repair/costs.

btw, what kind of a name is z3?
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z3 wrote:
<<(1) Fair enough... although I have not seen nor used the Clik!, the idea of very small, very portable 40MB storage sounds cool. As I understand, IOM did another one of these preannounce-but-don't-deliver things, but hopefully we'll all get a chance to see Clik! up close in the next few months.>>

True. However, Iomega is hardly the only company guilty of vaporware... further, like I mentioned before, I'd much rather Iomega take the time to get it right instead of having to go through the embarrassment and expense of recalling everything.

<<(2) Fair enough again, but I'd still have to say that oustanding lawsuits can be a serious potential problem. Didn't Nomai also win the lawsuit/rights to mfg. Zip comaptible disks? After all, this is where IOM will make the killing - selling lots of media, and not just the drives...>>

Well, the class actions are IMO not going to be a serious problem even if Iomega loses or settles. As to Nomai... the litigation is still ongoing, they've won nothing yet AFAIK. However, the average user doesn't want to take the time to educate himself about alternatives from the standard (witness the really, really hard time Cyrix and AMD had in trying to gain mainstream acceptance, which they're only *starting* to get), and if Iomega wanted to do so, just a teensy little bit of FUD can scuttle mainstream acceptance of Nomai disks. Y'know... writing in big bold letters that using non-certified Zip disks (Iomega and licensees, etc) such as Nomai will void their warranty, etc etc. Either way, I don't think that Iomega has that much to fear from Nomai if they play their cards right. Nomai's French, after all - when have the French ever done anything right ;)?

<<(3) Here I disagree a bit. Back in the "old" days of DOS and the Mac, you used to be able to boot and use your computer off a floppy. Today's that's no longer really the case, even with the 100MB disks. In addition, with the proliferation of CD-quality audio, video clips, etc. off the Internet, storage requirements are simply going to shoot through the roof. Look at it as a percentage to today's largest hard disks... now you can get a computer with a 16.8GB disk. You would need 170 ZIP disks to back up your hard drive, roughly the equivalent of 170 old HD disks to back up those old "huge" 250 MB drives that used to ship with 486 machines. >>

Heh. I can still remember thinking the 60MB that came with my old 386 was a lot. Now I have more RAM than that... wow.

<<<grin> We may not need the space now, but I guarantee we will want the space in the near future.>>

Oh, c'mon. I see your point, but I think you're stretching it just a tad. Sure, you can get a 16.8 gig HD - how much of it is used? My bro's 8 gig is more than 3/4 empty.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not disagreeing that storage requirements aren't skyrocketing, nor am I disagreeing that large-scale removable storage capacity needs to be boosted up. What I'm saying is that as a floppy replacement, and as a small-scale removable storage device, the Zip has hardly seen its proverbial 15 minutes.

I agree that the days of needing to be able to boot your computer off a floppy are over - who would agree? However, that's not the point. I use floppies to transport files from my computer to others that I need the files on. Why would I want to transport my entire hard drive? No one I know of is *that* paranoid.

<<I do have to admit that I recently bought a SparQ 1GB drive and love it. It is extremely fast (a bit slower than hard disk) but very transportable and very large. You can easily back up large chunks of CD programs, audio files, etc. etc., and the cost is right! You have a point that there is a large ZIP installed base... however, there is a MUCH larger installed base of 1.44MB floppy drives, and are many people still using them?>>

Can't respond about SparQ, haven't heard many bad things about it, but either way, if you dropped your SparQ cartridge onto a hardwood floor, are you still confident that you can use it? I'm fairly confident in my Zips. I'm not about to drop one to test it, mind you, but I'm still confident.

As to the 1.44 floppies... people who don't use them don't because they suck. They are woefully slow and inadequate. But... are you out of your mind when you say no one uses them anymore? Everyone I know of uses them even if we curse them for being the pieces o' crap they are.

In the meantime, you have the Zip base. You are planning on buying a large-cap floppy because you need to exchange files with your coworkers. What are they likely to have? Unless they work in the SyQuest HQ, Zips =p. What therefore becomes your primary concern? Getting all of your coworkers to swap to the SparQ, or just buying a Zip yourself? This is, in addition to my concerns of dropping a SparQ cartridge and a Zip disk.

<<Because of these opinions above, I think...>>

<<(4) The Jaz2 product will be very important to IOM's future profitability. Here I need more information and clarity, but I see the cost and SCSI interface and the media cost to be serious issues! (Someone misposted that a 3-pack was $150. In fact, a SINGLE cartridge runs about $150, and a THREE pack will cost $400!!!) Who's going to pay that kind of premium?!>>

SCSI interface is a necesary evil if you're demanding real throughput. A PP drive sucks. As to price... I have no idea. Anyone else care to comment?

Winston
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I wrote that 3 disks cost $149.00. I may be wrong, as the wording in the PC COMPUTING article is a little vague, but it appears that IOM is offering a special 3-for-one special with the purchase of a JAZ 2.

Can anyone confirm?

Still long,
WhACKAMOLE
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<<
Ioptics is developing OROM technology (Optical ROM). The card/storage
medium is smaller than a flash card and stores up to 128MB of memory.
Access time is around 10 milliseconds, the cost estimate is as low as 2
cents per megabyte>>

..correct..

..rom, as in 'read only'..

..iomega makes no 'read only' drives, and likely never will..



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<<
Ioptics is developing OROM technology (Optical ROM). The card/storage
medium is smaller than a flash card and stores up to 128MB of memory.
Access time is around 10 milliseconds, the cost estimate is as low as 2
cents per megabyte>>

..iomega makes no 'read only' drives, and likely never will..

My point is that with a 128MB storage disk that's $2-3, you are likely to see it replace CD/DVD/Tape based media for a segment of the market. A lot of people use the Zip for purely archival purposes (some that require fast access time for playback), such as zips, MPEG-2s or MP3s. It's small enough for laptops (you can't say that for the bulky Zip Plus travel kit). Therefore, it does pose a threat to Iomega's grip of the market. Furthermore, in terms of optical technology, optical rewritable disk innovation is not far behind at all; the data only have to be read by organic light emitted diodes.

However, the new 200MB+/1.44Mb compatible drives may pose some immediate threats later this year. Btw, does anyone know when the Quest drive from Syquest is actually coming out?

__________
Trader2000
"Ack, they plan to position Clik as the disk for digital cameras?"
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Trader2000 wrote:
<<My point is that with a 128MB storage disk that's $2-3, you are likely to see it replace CD/DVD/Tape based media for a segment of the market. A lot of people use the Zip for purely archival purposes (some that require fast access time for playback), such as zips, MPEG-2s or MP3s. It's small enough for laptops (you can't say that for the bulky Zip Plus travel kit). Therefore, it does pose a threat to Iomega's grip of the market. Furthermore, in terms of optical technology, optical rewritable disk innovation is not far behind at all; the data only have to be read by organic light emitted diodes.>>

Well, I see one definite problem with your scenario, and another possible problem with your scenario.

The possible problem is: what is the write method? Is it convenient? If it's ROM, it's almost certain to be inconvenient (that's based on the the types of ROM out there today - CD-R, PROMs, EPROMs, etc - I have yet to see a convenient way to write to ROM).

The definite problem is: when I use Zips for small-scale archival purposes (backup up zips with a little 'z', saved game files, random documents, and the like), I want to be able to change the contents of the disks. This way, if there's stuff I don't need anymore I can dump it, I can add more stuff to the disks if I need it, and in sum I can keep my archives nice and organized. I can't do this with any kind of ROM technology - that's the entire point of ROM - you can't change it.

As for it being small enough for laptops... sure, it's small. So? You still can't write to it - what's the point?

I agree that optical rewritable disk tech is not far behind at all - it's called DVD-RAM =p. In this case, cost will be a major barrier. As to the organic light emitted diode reading - I have no idea, but I'm going to guess that this is going to be expensive as hell too, if and whenever it comes out.

<<However, the new 200MB+/1.44Mb compatible drives may pose some immediate threats later this year. Btw, does anyone know when the Quest drive from Syquest is actually coming out?>>

1) 200MB+/1.44MB compatible drives could definitely post a threat... if they can manage to supplant Zip and Jaz in the workplace. I've already made my opinion on this probability happening clear.

2) What's the Quest drive?

3) What difference will it make if Syquest manages to bankrupt itself, the way its trying very hard to do now?

Winston
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