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Kevin OBrien

Western Digital and Seagate Cut Hard Drive Warranty Lengths Discussion

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In the past few days the hard drive market has seen a huge shift in warranty periods from Western Digital and Seagate. In some cases warranty lengths have been reduced from five years to just 12 months, with the biggest drop in budget or low-power drives. With many enthusiasts undoubtedly worried about this drastic restructuring of warranty terms, it's important to remember this is reflecting a business alignment in warranty lengths and not a reduction in drive quality.

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In the past few days the hard drive market has seen a huge shift in warranty periods from Western Digital and Seagate. In some cases warranty lengths have been reduced from five years to just 12 months, with the biggest drop in budget or low-power drives. With many enthusiasts undoubtedly worried about this drastic restructuring of warranty terms, it's important to remember this is reflecting a business alignment in warranty lengths and not a reduction in drive quality.

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They pulled this crap a few years ago. One of them jumped their warranties to 5 years not too long after and everyone had to follow suit. Not going to happen this time though since the only players left are Seagate & WD.

Barring any major quality issues, I think I'll be switching to WD. They at least give you 2 years...

Edited by DigitalFreak

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They pulled this crap a few years ago. One of them jumped their warranties to 5 years not too long after and everyone had to follow suit. Not going to happen this time though since the only players left are Seagate & WD.

Wow! I totally agree that they simply see an opportunity to shove it down the throats of consumers and build up their cash reserves. HDD (rotary) quality has been slipping in recent years (particularly @ Seagate) and warranty liabilities have soared. I guess they *did* have to do *something* to control the slide, but this sucks. What a shame that there are only two major players left in the rotary HDD market...

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What a shame that there are only two major players left in the rotary HDD market...

Hitachi is still here. If Toshiba does not want the flooded plant from WD for cheap - no sale - no merger. Maybe that was the plan - ask to sell a plant nobody wants (yes, even TDK), and then the "balance is restored". Magic, the EU way... :rolleyes:

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Just 1 year warrenty s*cks. Especially since the "Green" drives tend to kill themselves quickly by parking the heads after a few seconds of inactivity.. which makes them reach thei specified amount of 600k in a few month for some users. No wonder they've got reliability problems.

Cutting warrenty even on the Constellation - wow! These things are so expensive already. Who in their right mind would by them now over WD REs?

And regarding "we'll spend the money in further R&D". Well.. what's an even higher capacity drive worth, if it barely lasts a year? I know cutting warrenty to 1 year doesn't mean the drive will fail after 1 year.. but it indicates they've got a significant amount of failures between 1 and 3 years. I guess at 1 TB/platter customers would rather want cheap and reliable drives using these, rather then some new even fancier stuff. However, if they build the HDDs to last 10 years (and do this cheap enough) they'd essentially kill their own market :P

MrS

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Hitachi is still here. If Toshiba does not want the flooded plant from WD for cheap - no sale - no merger. Maybe that was the plan - ask to sell a plant nobody wants (yes, even TDK), and then the "balance is restored". Magic, the EU way... :rolleyes:

Not really. The sale continues to appear imminent: <http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=201112192339rttraderusequity_1184&title=hitachi-gst-sale-to-western-digital-awaiting-approval-from-china>

Makes me miss IBM & Quantum!

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I mentioned in a prior thread the numbers from April 2011, I'll grab new numbers for this thread.

Seagate: 27.22% + Maxtor: 2.18% + Samsung 14.64% = ~44% (down ~1% from April 2011)

Western Digital: 27.32% + Hitachi: 11.04% = ~38% (down ~1% from April 2011)

Toshiba: 5.01% + Fujitsu: 0.88% = ~6% (Fujitsu drives are less common now but Toshiba gained share enough to compensate leaving the overall percentage roughly unchanged.)

And the rest are SSDs or specialty drives of some other type (Intel being the largest share at 2.3%)

Brain mentioned the flooding hurting WD more than Seagate but the SSD marketshare is eating away at both so in these numbers expect WD to drop faster than Seagate. Don't expect Seagate to gain marketshare.

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That's what happens when regulators let Samsung and Hitachi's HDD departments be swallowed up like that. Alignment with the rest of the CE market? Humbug. Most CE devices have no moving parts and are not prone to failure like hard drives.

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it's important to remember this is reflecting a business alignment in warranty lengths and not a reduction in drive quality

I don't believe that for one second.

Seagate has been having a lot of quality issues lately, if anything, they are just adjusting the warranty to the already sub par quality of their products.

Besides that, both companies ramped up production at their other plants and that has to cause a decrease in quality.

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In the past few days the hard drive market has seen a huge shift in warranty periods from Western Digital and Seagate. In some cases warranty lengths have been reduced from five years to just 12 months, with the biggest drop in budget or low-power drives. With many enthusiasts undoubtedly worried about this drastic restructuring of warranty terms, it's important to remember this is reflecting a business alignment in warranty lengths and not a reduction in drive quality.

Read Full Article

This is awesome.

If you're a shareholder of said companies :D

Let's see, supply constraints providing better margins and ability to maintain those margins in the future, industry consolidation and now reduction in warranty terms with money being redirected to R&D and the bottom line. In the words of Jim Cramer "Buy, buy buy" (not the products, the company shares).

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