Seagate Technology announced today that it has shipped 1 billion hard drives, a number emblematic of the massive amount of digital content being created in the home, hand, office, car and dozens of other markets.
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The company notes that although it took 29 years to reach the 1 billion milestone, it will ship its next billion in less than five years. Also, by the time its nearest competitor reaches 1 billion drives shipped, Seagate will already be close to shipping its second billion.
According to Gartner Group, last year alone more than 500 million drives were shipped, compared to 1990, when slightly less than 30 million were shipped.
And in terms of size, in 1979, Seagate’s first product, the ST506 hard drive, could store 5 megabytes of data or the equivalent of one MP3 song. The drive weighed about five 2.2 kgs and cost about $US1,500, or $US300 per megabyte.
However, today, a typical Seagate hard drive offers a terabyte of data (or 1 million megabytes), which has enough capacity to record 32 days of high-definition video around the clock – at a cost of 1/5000th of a cent ($US0.00022) per megabyte.