Hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturer Western Digital Corp. (WDC - Analyst Report) introduced two external desktop drives – My Book and My Book for Mac – with storage capacities ranging from 2 TB to 4TB.
The new drives are also equipped with enhanced data security features, such as WD SmartWare Pro software, that provides automatic data backup. Additionally, My Book hard drives have been accessorized with Dropbox capabilities, which offer data back up in the cloud.
Apart from these features, the hard drive comes with Acronis True Image (ATI) WD Edition, which can be used to delete confidential data securely and recover data in the event of a system crash. Priced at $129.99 (2 TB), $149.99 (3 TB) and $179.99 (4 TB), the new product line is available from the WD store and other retailers and distributors.
We believe that the company’s rolling out of new storage devices to attract more customers should be beneficial. However, increased innovation is resulting in higher R&D expenses, which may limit margin expansion.
Data storage technology is changing rapidly, especially with the advent of flash technology. As data storage becomes increasingly important for data centers and big conglomerates, new storage technologies to enhance performance and meet new challenges are coming into the market.
Western Digital has been expanding its presence in the solid state drive (SSD) storage market due to sluggish demand in the PC market (which primarily relies on HDD). SSDs are now being used in servers due to the reduction in latency, which in turn helps in faster response to real-time applications. Therefore, focusing on SSDs for the enterprise segment looks like a smart move in the current scenario.
Western Digital has been acquiring companies to strengthen its SSD line-up. The company recently announced the acquisition of Virident Systems Inc. for $685 million. The acquisition strengthens Western Digital’s position in the storage market, especially compared to peers like Seagate Technology (STX - Analyst Report), Fusion-io, Inc. and SanDisk (SNDK - Analyst Report). According to iSuppli, Western Digital retained the top spot in the hard disk market for the fourth year in a row beating Seagate and Hitachi.
Currently, Western Digital has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).