SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. -- Seagate Technology (NYSE: STX - News) announced today that it is the first hard drive manufacturer worldwide to have shipped 1 billion hard drives -- a number not only staggering in size but also emblematic of the massive amount of digital content being created in the home, hand, office, car and dozens of other markets. Consider this: the 1 billion hard drives Seagate has delivered equates to approximately 79 million terabytes, able to store 158 billion hours of digital video or 1.2 trillion hours of your favorite music -- and Seagate hard drives and storage solutions enable people to create, share, enjoy and protect more digital content every day.
As further testimony to its market leadership and the central role storage solutions play in the digital world today, Seagate projects that although it took 29 years to reach the 1 billion milestone, the company will ship its next billion in less than five years. Also, by the time its nearest competitor reaches 1 billion drives shipped, Seagate will already be close to shipping its second billion.
Seagate's billionth drive milestone comes as hard drive shipments continue to increase dramatically. According to Gartner Group, last year alone more than 500 million drives were shipped, compared to 1990, when slightly less than 30 million were shipped.
In 1979, Seagate's first product, the ST506 hard drive, could store 5 megabytes of data or the equivalent of one MP3 song. The drive weighed about five pounds and cost $1,500, or $300 per megabyte. Today, a typical Seagate hard drive offers a terabyte of data (or 1 million megabytes), which has enough capacity to record 32 days of high-definition video around the clock -- at a cost of 1/5000th of a cent ($0.00022) per megabyte.
"This company has an amazing, colorful and important history, which continues to be written every day by our 55,000 employees around the world," said Bill Watkins, Seagate CEO. "Al Shugart and a few others started the company behind a convenience store in 1979 and enabled the birth of the first PCs. Today we're at the center of the digital content revolution. So reaching this milestone is a great opportunity for us to reflect on our accomplishments and those of our predecessors, and to also look forward to the great things we can still achieve as a company."