Reuters reports that Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) plans to boost output of its 1-inch hard disk drives as soon as possible. The news comes a day after Apple announced that it was moving its worldwide release of the iPod mini from April to July, to respond to higher than expected demand for the tiny MP3 player in the United States.
Apple Vice President of Hardware Product Marketing Greg Joswiak revealed to MacCentral in
an interview Thursday that Apple is “using just about all of the [4GB] 1-inch hard drives that are being made.”
Joswiak said that Apple is growing marketshare for its iPod products with the new iPod mini, which was created to appeal to consumers who might otherwise purchase a flash media-based music player rather than Apple’s much higher capacity but bulkier iPod.
Apple hasn’t identified Hitachi as the supplier of the 1-inch 4GB hard drive mechanisms it uses to make the iPod mini, but Hitachi is presently the sole supplier of such products. Dissections of iPod minis, including
one performed by Macworld’s own Chris Breen, have confirmed the presence of a Hitachi 4GB Microdrive inside.
A Hitachi spokesman told Reuters that the company is planning on boosting output of the tiny drives “sooner rather than later,” but would not provide any details on the timing or scale of the manufacturing boost.