IBM Takes the Bite Out of Storage-Greedy Devices with Microdrive Price Reduction

IBM Cuts Microdrive Prices By As Much As 32%; Stimulates Market for Portable Electronic Devices

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San Jose, Calif. - 10 Sep 2001: To stimulate consumer appetite for portable electronic devices that require high-capacity removable storage, IBM today announced a price break for its family of Microdrives, the world's smallest hard disk drive. The retail price for IBM's one-inch Microdrive is being reduced by as much as 32% (a reduction of up to $110) across all capacities, making it more affordable for consumers to access storage-intensive applications at home, in the office, or on-the-go.

At the new price points, the IBM Microdrive is highly competitive against other removable storage options on a cost per megabyte basis. Beginning today, the Microdrive's new retail prices on are $379 (1 GB), $259 (512 MB) and $199 (340 MB).

The 24x7, 'I-want-it-right-now!' digital world is driving the need for portable devices that can run large multimedia/enterprise applications and still fit into consumers' pockets. In addition, affordability of high-capacity removable storage will be key in providing consumers with the tools needed to embrace the digital lifestyle.

"Our intent is to enable consumers to run applications such as high-quality photography, video, music, e-mail, etc. -- whenever and wherever they may be -- without breaking the bank," said Michael Kuptz, Microdrive business line manager, IBM Storage Technology Division. "IBM has lowered the Microdrive's cost per megabyte by at least 50% every year since we introduced the product two years ago, and we believe this will help to spur the adoption of personal computing and entertainment devices."

The Microdrive supports a host of portable handheld devices made by leading digital camera, PDA and MP3 player manufacturers. The Microdrive's CompactFlash Type II standard format can also be accessed on laptops through PCMCIA cards and personal computers through card readers. In addition, the Microdrive supports multiple data types including video, MP3, text, JPEG, voice, etc., and can hold up 1,000 standard digital photographs, a full-length movie, a thousand 200-page novels or nearly 18 hours of high-quality digital audio music.

"The colorful, professional-quality pictures captured by our FinePix S1 Pro digital camera require lots of memory space. Therefore, we bundle a 1GB Microdrive along with the camera so photographers can take a small library of high resolution pictures without worrying about storage capacity," remarked Jennifer Davalos, marketing manager, Commercial Imaging Division, Fuji Photo Film USA, Inc. "At Fujifilm, we strive to provide photographers with a choice of the highest quality products in a value package, and IBM's Microdrive pricing allows us to do that with the FinePix S1 Pro."

"We believe the MP3 audience will find the Microdrive's reduced pricing very attractive for the 10-18 hours of high-fidelity digital music it can provide," said Leslie Fong, president, Frontier Labs. "Frontier Labs is pleased to offer our Nex II MP3 player with the Microdrive."

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