Removable storage becomes mobile

Removable storage becomes mobile

Desperate to carve out new and bigger market opportunities, removable storage vendor Iomega last week announced it expects to ship a new removable device for notebooks in August.

The latest addition to the Clik! product range is the PC Card drive, which will provide notebook users with removable storage or backup in 40MB disks.

But the notebook market could be just the tip of the iceberg for the IT channel, as Iomega has its eyes set on applications in much wider markets than merely that of the "traditional notebook users".

Country manager for Iomega in Australia/New Zealand Peter Dawson said that while research tells them that 90 per cent of notebook users travel with it and 75 per cent create unique files, the data backup and transfer functions of Clik! are only the start. The emerging market for this technology is for devices that use flash memory, and as well as being able to transfer data to the Clik! format, Dawson predicted that the drives will soon appear in cameras and other portable recorders. "The digital camera market alone for 1999 is forecast by IDC to achieve a 51 per cent worldwide increase and any reseller has to be interested in products that relate to this kind of growth," Dawson said.

According to Hugh Evans, managing director of Agate Technology, the Clik! PC card is a hot product. "It gives Zip functionality to notebook users, and we've already got hundreds on back order from resellers who have only had a glance."

One reseller to have already placed an order for the new drives is Sydney system builder Gleneagles Computer Connections. GCC sales manager Rick De Freitas described the device as being in a class of its own. "As a PCMCIA device, it's obviously small, extremely fast and acts as another drive. With the large number of notebooks with PCMCIA slots, we expect a strong demand, especially from users with the need to share or transfer data between notebooks."

James Hu, manager of Sydney-based specialist notebook reseller Unicom Technologies, felt that at 40MB, the media for the drives will suit most applications. "For professionals in offices where there are more than a few notebooks, a couple of these drives will be very attractive, and we have customers already interested," Hu said.

The Clik!PC Card Drive specifications include a transfer rate of 600Kbps, powered by the PC slot, supplied with Iomega's new software utility QuickSync and is expected to carry a $449 RRP. The 40MB disks will be sold in packs of 10 for $229. Iomega products are distributed by Agate, CHA, ERA (Ingram Micro), and Tech Pacific.

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