by Anton Shilov
12/16/2008 | 11:14 PM
Seagate Technologies, the world’s largest maker of hard disk drives (HDDs), will reduce warranty periods for the products it sells to distributors as well as computer makers to three years. Retail and enterprise customers will still be able to enjoy five year limited warranty on certain products.
From now on, 5-year warranty will be effective for Seagate enterprise drives and certain Seagate and Maxtor branded retail products (both consumer solutions and HDD retail kits). Meanwhile, Seagate desktop, notebook and consumer electronics drives sold to customers will feature 3-year warranty. Previously, virtually all Seagate products were covered by 5-year warranty.
“Based on our data, we know that 95% of all returns take place during the first three years, so by offering a 3-year warranty (which Seagate believes is more in line with the rest of the industry), we can make other aspects of our customer support and warranty programs more attractive with negligible impact to customer product return needs. The 3-year limited warranty on notebook, desktop and consumer electronics bare drives offers new advantages and enhancements to the business proposition for our channel customers while improving cost efficiencies for Seagate We expect little, if any change for consumers – since hard drives used in computer systems other devices are covered by the individual manufacturer’s warranty,” a statement by Seagate reads.
It is interesting to note that the last time the hard drive industry slashed warranty periods was back in 2001 – 2002 timeframe, during another slump in the PC industry. It should be observed that reduction of warranties may not be aligned with the global economy or state of the industry. For example, life-cycles of certain products within Seagate’s family of offerings may get shorter if Seagate updates its lineups more often to keep the demand on high levels. On the other hand, it is clear that with shorter warranty periods Seagate reduces its risks and financial burden.