High-capacity floppies expected to surge

High-capacity floppies expected to surge

Dave Simpson

Shipments of high-capacity floppies are expected to surge over the next few years, led by Iomega`s popular 100MB Zip drive and the emergence of the 120MB SuperDisk (formerly the LS-120).

According to a recent report from Disk/Trend Inc., a market research firm in Mountain View, CA, shipments of this class of storage device are expected to spurt from 3.9 million units last year to more than 26 million in the year 2000.

Meanwhile, growth in shipments of standard 1.44MB floppies will start declining over the next few years, although actual shipments won`t decline until after the year 2000. Even by then, standard floppies (at an OEM price of $14) are expected to outsell their high- capacity brethren by a factor of almost 4:1.

The emergence of potentially huge markets for devices such as digital cameras and personal telecommunications equipment is fueling strong demand for flash cards, which are based on semiconductor memory technology. Disk/Trend expects shipments of flash cards to exceed 15 million by the year 2000.

In another high-growth segment of the removable data storage market, Iomega`s 1GB Jaz drive and SyQuest`s 1.5GB SyJet are fueling demand for removable rigid-disk cartridge drives. Applications driving demand for these devices include video editing, multimedia mastering, engineering workstation applications, and high-end consumer applications.

However, not all the news is rosy for removable data storage technologies. For example, shipments of 3.5-inch magneto-optical drives are expected to peak in 1999, due in large part to competition from rigid disk cartridge drives and high-capacity floppies.

For more information about Disk/Trend reports, go to www.disktrend. com.

This article was originally published on December 01, 1997