Quantum breathes life into flat hard drive market

Quantum breathes life into flat hard drive market

Despite a lull in the hard disk market, storage player Quantum has been hitting its Australian channel with a positive outlook and previews of bigger, faster and more robust products.

David Rawcliffe, marketing director Quantum Asia-Pacific, was in Sydney last week to join KS Neo, the vendor's regional manager for South Asia-Pacific for an exclusive briefing with ARN on new product plans and a review of the data storage vendor's position in the market.

Market share snared

Neo claimed Quantum has recorded an overall increase of "between two and three percentage points market share" in the local hard disk drive market and snared 25 to 30 per cent of the desktop ATA business. Despite what he described as a current flat period, Neo said the local market has not suffered any significant impact from the economic problems of our Asian neighbours.

There was much more interest expressed by Australian channel partners in regional and global trends, and the information exchanged during his regular visits has allowed for more intelligent business planning by both the vendor and its Australian distributors, he said.

Meanwhile, Quantum has released information on the Fireball CR series with new Ultra ATA/66 interface. It is due to be shipped in February next year with prices ranging from $269 RRP for 4.3GB to $439 RRP for 12.7GB. Quantum also unveiled the 10,000 RPM Atlas 10K and 7200 RPM Atlas IV series. These are the first disk drives to support the newest SCSI interface - Ultra 160/m SCSI. Both will incorporate Quantum's new Shock Protection System (SPS) and are due to ship in mid '99. The 9GB Atlas IV is expected to cost $1139 RRP, while the top 36GB Atlas 10K will be priced at $3809 RRP.

With reference to the SPS, Rawcliffe addressed the issue of quality and reported that the vendor has achieved a substantial reduction in failure rates.

He claimed that 90 per cent of drives that are returned have one of three problems. In 30 per cent of cases, there was no problem found. In another 30 per cent of cases, problems resulted from rapid handling damages - typically shocks during shipping or sometimes in installation, and in the remaining 30 per cent of cases, genuine failures had occurred.

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