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Apple Shines on QLogic

QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) has a new partner to help its push into the low-end switching market -- Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)

Apple plans to announce next Tuesday that it will resell QLogic Fibre Channel switches with its Xserve RAID storage system. Sources say QLogic will replace switches from Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX)
on Apple systems, and Apple might soon use QLogic HBAs instead of LSI Logic Corp. (NYSE: LSI) gear.

"I can't confirm," says an Apple spokesman, "until October 19." [Ed. note: Um, isn't that kind of a confirmation?]

Apple's not exactly a storage titan, but it provides a good channel for the SMB market. Its storage systems typically sell for under $20,000, so the deal might not drive a lot of revenue, but it will help QLogic push its low-end switches. QLogic recently scored an OEM deal with Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) for switches on an entry-level SAN, and it is expected to land a similar deal with Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL). (See QLogic Pulls a Switch Deal.) Last month the company also scored a switch design win on IBM blade servers (see HBA Guys Switch Gears).

"We are working with a lot of OEMs on our SMB solution," said CEO H.K. Desai Wednesday evening, on QLogic's earnings call with analysts. "We continue to execute against our strategy to grow market share in expanding markets and establish ourselves in new markets that will create incremental growth."

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