Fujitsu's shipments of mobile-class hard-disk drives for notebook computers and other products rose during the last three months of 2005, making it the 14th consecutive quarter of growth for the product line, Fujitsu said Tuesday.
The company said it shipped 5.1 million 2.5-inch drives during the quarter. Such drives are commonly found in notebook computers and are increasingly being used in other devices. For example, Microsoft's Xbox 360 games console uses a 2.5-inch drive for data storage. The fourth-quarter shipment total represents a 22 percent increase on the same period in 2004.
"Every quarter the mobile [drive] demand is increasing," said Joel Hagberg, vice president of marketing at Fujitsu Computer Products of America. "We think we will continue to gain share in 2006 in mobile."
The company shipped 1.2 million 3.5-inch drives in the quarter, up slightly on the third quarter. Such drives are typically used in desktop PCs and servers.
Fujitsu expects to pick up sales as a result of the planned acquisition of Maxtor by Seagate, said Hagberg. The two companies are both major enterprise drive makers and a combination stands to produce a single company with a pretty significant market share. Customers typically like to source drives from at least two companies so that they are insulated from production problems at any one maker, so this merger could help Fujitsu, he said.
"We saw it when IBM [Corp.] and Hitachi [Ltd.] merged their drive business. Within a week we had a number of calls from customers," he said.
In January the company said it plans to get into several new product areas this year, including 2.5-inch drives for servers and 1.8-inch drives of the type used in digital music players. Demand from non-IT customers is expected to make up about a third of all hard-disk drive demand in 2008, up from a about 20 percent in 2005, so the company is keen to get into this market.