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Seagate Technology, the largest supplier of hard disk drives (HDDs) on the planet, said during a quarterly conference call with financial analysts that solid-state drives (SSDs) are indeed crucially important for its roadmaps. Earlier the company tried to stress advantages of HDDs over SSDs and was pretty skeptic about flash-based storage.

“We are set to deliver our first SSD product into enterprise applications later this calendar year. SSDs and solid-state technology are essential to our long-term product roadmaps, and we will maintain our investment levels to deliver leading technology as required by our current and future customers,” said Robert Whitmore, chief operating officer of Seagate, during the conference call.

Seagate recently switched chief operating officer William Watkins to Stephen J. Luczo after Mr. Watkins failed to ensure strong positions of Seagate on the market of hard drives for mobile and portable applications, but also failed to start offering SSDs in the enterprise market segment at the dawn of solid-state drives on the mass market. With the step-down of Mr. Watkins, Seagate seems to have changed its stance on flash-based storage.

Seagate Technology also reported preliminary results for the second quarter of its fiscal 2009 ended January 2, 2009. According to the company, it shipped 37 million disk drive units and had revenue of $2.3 billion, a net loss of $496 million, and net loss per share of $1.02 for the quarter.

Net loss and net loss per share for the quarter include $18 million of purchased intangibles amortization and other charges associated with acquisitions, restructuring and related accelerated depreciation charges of $94 million, and a charge of $271 million that reflects an unfavorable adjustment to the valuation allowance related to the company’s deferred tax assets. The aggregate impact of these items is a $383 million loss or approximately $0.79 per share loss. Of the $94 million restructuring and related charges, $16 million was for accelerated depreciation charges recorded in cost of revenue ($2 million) and product development expense ($14 million) with the majority of the balance related to the recently disclosed global headcount reduction.

Tags: Seagate, SSD

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