Imation keeps floppy legacy alive

Imation keeps floppy legacy alive

The battle for Australian resellers' hearts and minds in removable data storage is getting hotter, and portable data storage specialist Imation this week fired a few salvos of its own.

Responding to an article on removable storage featuring Iomega in ARN (see November 4, pg 18), Imation's Asia-Pacific regional manager, Jim Milligan, said that the issue is about the legacy of 10 billion 1.44MB floppy disks as well as a growing base of CD-ROM media.

Imation's LS-120 drive reads both existing 720KB and 1.44MB floppy disks and 120MB SuperDisks.

"I think it is unlikely that system integrators and OEM PC builders will ignore the legacy of floppy disks, and as there are two removable media used in most current PCs -- the other being CD-ROM -- Imation provides a migration path that preserves that legacy," Milligan said.

Imation has scored a coup by signing a global arrangement with Apple to supply what it claims is the only currently available USB removable data storage device for the new iMac system.

According to Brian Montgomery, data storage manager at Imation ANZ, iMac unit sales are approaching 30,000 in Australia with a better than 50 per cent attach rate of the LS-120 drives. And the iMac success is spreading to PCs.

"For the PC market, the price on our internal drives is fast approaching the point where it is attractive as an alternative to a regular 1.44MB drive," Montgomery added.

In relation to the competition for high-capacity internal and external drives, he said comparative pricing is tight.

Milligan claimed that, while Imation has only been in this market for a year, it has a strong, well-developed and mature channel in Australia, reaching retail, corporate and OEM segments.

"While Iomega has been established longer in this market sector, we are closing the gap," he said.

As for the issue of CD-Rewritable, Milligan expects both the disk and CD formats to co-exist for some time yet. He said there is still a way to go for CD-RW, and this may yet be impacted by developments in the DVD format.

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