Any manufacturer that takes away the safety net of its reliability through smaller warranty will most certainly kill a large portion of it's potential market, as the people that buy more hard disks for their machine, and don't just do with the one that comes pre-installed, will be informed buyers, and uninformed buyers will most probably be asking informed people before buying. Basically I can confidently say, on hard drives, warranty is very important, possibly the MOST important factor, performance is rarely put above it.
Seagate Technology, one of the world’s largest storage companies, Monday announced it had introduced a 5-year warranty, effective immediately, on every Seagate internal PC, notebook and enterprise hard drive shipped through its distribution and retail channels throughout the world.
Virtually all makers of hard disk drives have shrunk the warranty on HDDs intended to personal computers from three years to one since 2002. The majority of hard disks aimed at consumer PCs shipping today come with one year limited warranty, which does not satisfy some customers, who want to have more reliable storage for their data.
Manufacturers of storage devices cited the absence of necessity for three year warranties back in 2002 and 2003, claiming that potentially faulty hard disk drives would become malfunction throughout the first year of use. At the same time they said that shortened warranties are likely to reduce the support cost, which may have an effect on HDD pricing.
Three well-known companies – IBM, Quantum and Fujitsu – either sold or just suspended their HDD business in 2002. In the mid- and late-nineties a number of other companies, such as Conner, also either ceased to exist or shelved storage businesses.
Rapid technology development amid fierce competition in the field of storage are also among the most important factors that forced HDD makers to trim their warranty services earlier, it looks like with Seagate’s announcement the trend reverses and manufacturers of storage products for consumers will offer HDDs with longer support.
“For several years Seagate has made industry-leading investments in Six Sigma design and quality processes, common design platforms, and advanced manufacturing, and as a result we believe we have shown that reliability and quality leadership are synonymous with the name Seagate,” said Bill Watkins, Seagate president and CEO.
Seagate’s new warranty applies retroactively to applicable hard drives shipped since