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Samsung looking to sell hard drive business?

Samsung looking to sell hard drive business?

Samsung is reportedly looking to sell its hard drive business for $1.5 billion.

Samsung is reportedly looking to selling off its hard disk division, according to the Wall Street Journal, which claims to have spoken to a source familiar with the matter.

The site's source claims that Seagate is a potential buyer of the division, and that Samsung is looking to sell its apparently loss-making hard drive business for $1.5 billion, although it will consider a deal under $1 billion.

If this happens, the move would see the world's number of hard disk manufacturers reduced to just three. Western Digital has recently acquired Hitachi Global Storage and Fujitsu, meaning the only other independent hard drive manufacturer is now Toshiba.

Despite strong sales of hard drives in both the 3.5in and 2.5in formats, the scale of Samsung's hard disk manufacturing capabilities are too small in comparison to its rivals, which could explain why this division of the company is making a loss.

What are the potential ramifications of the sale of Samsung's hard disk division? Is the future of storage all about SSDs? Let us know in the forums.

64 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
eddtox 18th April 2011, 12:15 Quote
:(
Fingers66 18th April 2011, 12:16 Quote
Gawd, not Seagate....

Looks like WD drives for me in future then if this goes ahead.
Boogle 18th April 2011, 12:26 Quote
Samsung are awesome, can't they expand manufacturing capacity to bring the profits longer-term?
Floyd 18th April 2011, 12:26 Quote
Dont know why everyone seems to frown on Seagate drives. Its all I use and ive never had one fail!
Ive had Hitachi and WD drives fail though...
murraynt 18th April 2011, 12:29 Quote
Wow, I knew smasung were big but I didn't think the HDD division would go for 1 billion.
They are getting out at a good time though, wait any longer and there won't be much of a market in HDD's.
PureSilver 18th April 2011, 12:33 Quote
Noooooooooooooo!
feathers 18th April 2011, 12:45 Quote
This is very bad news. Samsung make the best hard disks in terms of long term reliability. Seagate make the worst hard disks. I will never buy another seagate.
Woollster00 18th April 2011, 12:49 Quote
Seagate momentus XT is all i can say absolutely brilliant drives don't knock seagate.
GiantKiwi 18th April 2011, 12:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by feathers
This is very bad news. Samsung make the best hard disks in terms of long term reliability. Seagate make the worst hard disks. I will never buy another seagate.

not recently they havent in my experience, ive had 4 500gb drives from samsung fail from new within 6 months, compared to my seagate drives which are now coming close to 4 years old without any issues.
sotu1 18th April 2011, 12:53 Quote
Seagate have always worked fine for me....unlike Western Digifail.....
r3loaded 18th April 2011, 13:07 Quote
Please no! Spin it off, let the management buy it from the parent company, or sell it to any other hard drive company. Just not Seagate!
SpAceman 18th April 2011, 13:13 Quote
But I love my Spinpoints!
[PUNK] crompers 18th April 2011, 13:18 Quote
we can only hope the people responsible for the F series end up at seagate
DrTiCool 18th April 2011, 13:25 Quote
never had problems with Samsung drives, they even run much cooler than other drives
Waynio 18th April 2011, 13:31 Quote
Shame, I only buy samsung hdd's as they are cheaper & very good runners, when they disapear I'm unsure who I'll go with for hdd's & hdd's still have a future as ssd's are way to expensive for mass storage.

Anyone seen the price of a 1TB ssd .
Jack_Pepsi 18th April 2011, 13:32 Quote
Crap!

I only ever use Samsung HDDs. I don't want WD or Seagate drives.
IvanIvanovich 18th April 2011, 13:34 Quote
please no samsung! not unless you've got some magic ssd trick up your sleeve to make 1tb at the same cost.
and i would rather see them close the hard drive branch and sell assets only, not let some other company license samsung good name and reputation. especially seagate. thier quality went down very much after maxtor merger. if seagate gets a hold of them they will need to release them as the spinfail series.
sitech71 18th April 2011, 13:41 Quote
Oh Dear.
Number of hard drive failures with segate=6
Number Samsung=0
Number Western Digital=1

Customer service from Segate on a scale of 1-10 =2 "
SpAceman 18th April 2011, 13:49 Quote
I better buy some more F3s and F4s before they sell out at my local supplier again..
[PUNK] crompers 18th April 2011, 13:52 Quote
yep a 2tb F4 for me i think
azazel1024 18th April 2011, 14:10 Quote
Crap. I just hope it isn't Seagate that buys them.

If this goes ahead, maybe I'll consider jump on more F4eg 2tb disks.
Silent_Raider 18th April 2011, 14:15 Quote
NOOOOO!!!!!!
JCBeastie 18th April 2011, 14:16 Quote
Oh no! I only buy Samsungs... :(
NethLyn 18th April 2011, 14:22 Quote
Well now we see the reason for price-dumping the terabyte F3, they will have sold by the bucketload last Christmas onwards.

Now they want to dump them out of the market and shirk the warranties, back to WD.
erratum1 18th April 2011, 14:31 Quote
I have 2 seagates in raid 0 and a seagate external, had them for about 4 years without any problems.

Any hard drive can fail its a machanical device, regardless of manufacturer.

SSD's will take over when they get bigger and cheaper, at the moment its a luxury for the few.
Spreadie 18th April 2011, 14:34 Quote
This isn't good. Like most people here, I only buy Samsung HDDs.

My only memories of Seagate drives were the god-awful noise and unreliability.
NethLyn 18th April 2011, 15:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by erratum1
I have 2 seagates in raid 0 and a seagate external, had them for about 4 years without any problems.

Any hard drive can fail its a machanical device, regardless of manufacturer.

I must have been lucky to stick with the last companies standing unless the price was a bargain, gave away a Seagate which is still working after nine years.

Other than that the F3 was an exception in eight years of WD, if the deal goes ahead then fine, I got a Christmas bargain, but I'm returning to WD now as the company wants to stick around in the market.
Fizzban 18th April 2011, 15:09 Quote
Most of my HD's are Samsung. Kinda surprising to know they are making a loss when you see how popular their drives are. Well this sucks.
Unknownsock 18th April 2011, 15:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by feathers
This is very bad news. Samsung make the best hard disks in terms of long term reliability. Seagate make the worst hard disks. I will never buy another seagate.

I'm pretty sure all HDD manufactures have pretty much the same percentage of faulty equipment.
Xir 18th April 2011, 15:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by murraynt
Wow, I knew smasung were big but I didn't think the HDD division would go for 1 billion.
They're bigger than you think...they're supposed to be the worlds biggest single client for semiconductor grade silicon :D

Shame, only hear good things from their drives.
Mankz 18th April 2011, 15:15 Quote
Everyone seems to have Samsung HDD's, I don't understand how they can't be making money!
Hakuren 18th April 2011, 15:16 Quote
I do own 5 Samsungs and they running just fine, I own also multiple WDs and Hitachis and those running even better. In truth it is just dreadful news that Seagate want to take over.

Not by miles, but by parsecs - Seagate: worst HDD manufacturer on the planet ATM. (In fairness SCSI Cheetah 10/15k series many years ago was brilliant, but that was such long time ago)

In short, buy Samsung now while stocks last.

And give me a break SSD - future of storage? You having a laugh. It is road to nowhere, end of story. SSDs will be gone in the next decade as utterly inefficient form of storing data (unless price/GB will drop to HDD level which is pretty much impossible). Imagine Data Center with lets say (just) 500 TB of storage which need to be replaced every 2 years because of faulty NAND under heavy load.

SSDs are just for geeks who enjoying showing off. I couldn't care less how fast OS is booting. In my case every RAID card initialization (loading kernel for those not familiar with the issue) takes 1 to few minutes, so why should I care that some SSD booting in 10 seconds and delivers 250MB/s. I can easily achieve that with tiny classic HDDs in RAID 10 for a fraction of a cost but with added redundancy.
Spreadie 18th April 2011, 15:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hakuren
SSDs are just for geeks who enjoying showing off. I couldn't care less how fast OS is booting. In my case every RAID card initialization (loading kernel for those not familiar with the issue) takes 1 to few minutes, so why should I care that some SSD booting in 10 seconds and delivers 250MB/s. I can easily achieve that with tiny classic HDDs in RAID 10 for a fraction of a cost but with added redundancy.

Trolling much?
Waynio 18th April 2011, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreadie
Trolling much?

:) Either that or he hasn't tried a good ssd for a boot drive, I don't know anyone who didn't feel the massive difference going from hdd's to ssd for the boot drive.

SSD's make awesome system drives, even my ocz summit with a fairly bad rep still performs awesome, hdd's have ages from getting into windows to being ready for what I want to do, ssd's I can instantly do what I want as soon as I get to desktop.

WD raptors even still have a good cause if you have many games installed but for every other drive samsung are my favourites so I might just go & buy a few 2TB drives while I can.
sWW 18th April 2011, 16:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by murraynt
Wow, I knew smasung were big but I didn't think the HDD division would go for 1 billion.
They are getting out at a good time though, wait any longer and there won't be much of a market in HDD's.

I doubt companies that require huge amounts of storage, thinking of Google and the like, will be going to SSDs any time soon.
thetrashcanman 18th April 2011, 17:05 Quote
oh behave, i like samsung drives reliable (for me at least) fast, quiet and cheap, please don't sell it to seagate samsung, PLEASE!
kzinti1 18th April 2011, 17:14 Quote
Just another sign of the end of hdd's. The hdd is dead. Long live the ssd!
total zombie 18th April 2011, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PureSilver
Noooooooooooooo!

me too, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!

ive got 4 or 5 spinpoints there very good!!
l3v1ck 18th April 2011, 18:57 Quote
In a way, I'm sad as I've used Samsung HDD's for the last few years and they've been great.
On the other hand, I'm not that bothered as I've never had an issue with Seagate.
The only brand I've had issues with is Fujitsu.
bobwya 18th April 2011, 19:05 Quote
Love the statistical analysis bods coming out - don't think you guys are a representative sample!!

Only comment I can make is I've bought 5 Samsung 1Tb F1 drives and they are all still running fine and performing well. Means nothing of course... :-)
echeb 18th April 2011, 19:28 Quote
I'm with the anti-Seagate crowd. My dad had a Packard Hell (and it was hell, a 1.6 Semphron in 06 :/ ) which went through 5 Seagate HDD's in 4 years!
The_Beast 18th April 2011, 19:38 Quote
I wouldn't mind them raising their prices a bit to stay in business. I love Sammy drives. If they do close/sell out then it's back to WD drives. Not my favorite since I don't trust there greem line of drives and all I need ATM is high capacity drives
Srcr. Maligree 18th April 2011, 19:56 Quote
Noooo!
I was just gonna get an F3 (which comes well recommended), but now if it breaks who knows where i'd go for support?

So it's between Seagate and Western Digital now. A light Russian Roulette, as I can't remember which manufacturer's drives always let me down... I think it was the latter.
NethLyn 18th April 2011, 20:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
I wouldn't mind them raising their prices a bit to stay in business. I love Sammy drives. If they do close/sell out then it's back to WD drives. Not my favorite since I don't trust there greem line of drives and all I need ATM is high capacity drives

To be fair the new WD Green terabyte stays up at 7200RPM and at 64Mb, has 4 times the cache of my Blue half-terabyte so "Green" seems more like a buzzword or a badge now.

In general Samsung have a rep for good value and I'm talking all the way back to their VCRs not just PC stuff, I'm really hoping they do a 3M and just spin it off independently. It's crazy if a billion bucks (if that's what they get for the HDD division) isn't enough to stay in the business.
Eiffie 18th April 2011, 20:37 Quote
Sad news, the very first computer I put together had a spinpoint 250gb hard drive on a socket 939 build. It's still going strong to this day in that very same computer. I'm probably going to stick with WD since that's the other company I've used since then for a few computers at my office and for my father's computer and their drives don't give me issues either. I've only used two Hitachi drives, not sure if they were made before or after WD bought them but they work well too, although they are louder than my other drives.

As for the comment above about the WD Green Terabytes, I've had one as my primary drive in my current gaming PC for a year now and it too has worked as intended and never given me any issues. I don't feel like there's been any performance lose between the Green line and the Black line from what I've used them for. Gaming and Media Storage. I don't use a RAID setup though or any sort of backup software so I can't say if that drive would work properly with that sorta setup.
The_Beast 18th April 2011, 21:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NethLyn
To be fair the new WD Green terabyte stays up at 7200RPM and at 64Mb, has 4 times the cache of my Blue half-terabyte so "Green" seems more like a buzzword or a badge now.

In general Samsung have a rep for good value and I'm talking all the way back to their VCRs not just PC stuff, I'm really hoping they do a 3M and just spin it off independently. It's crazy if a billion bucks (if that's what they get for the HDD division) isn't enough to stay in the business.

I couldn't care less about cache or RPM, I just want a reliable storage drive and from the reviews I've read the greens just don't meet that. I've read many failures on the green line of drives and not nearly as many as a comparable Samsung drive
JA12 18th April 2011, 21:45 Quote
I have two hard disks in this machine, Samsung and Seagate. The Seagate comes from my old computer, and Samsung was in when I bought this computer used. A lot of use for both and they run solid. SMART tables are also good.
Now if the Seagate makes the worst hard drives, that must be because they bought Maxtor a while back and they're still in business :D
Shayper09 18th April 2011, 22:14 Quote
Noo... Need to pick up an f4 pretty quickl then =/
ev1lm1nd666 18th April 2011, 22:24 Quote
I too only use Samsung Hdd's. Had a seagate hdd a few years ago and it run hot and very loud. WD hdd's are overpriced and seagate hdd's have reliability issues.....please Samsung, don't sell!!!
TheGreatSatan 18th April 2011, 22:38 Quote
WD's blow. Especially their external drives
adidan 18th April 2011, 22:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hakuren
SSDs are just for geeks who enjoying showing off. I couldn't care less how fast OS is booting.
Maybe you should get one, there's more to them than just boot speeds. It's saved me tearing my hair out waiting for games to load up or for levels to load. I'm impatient. :)

On top of that they're silent with no moving parts. I'd say more practical than geeky TBH. An OS and a few games is all I need on my main drive, HDDs are just for storage.

And, aside from on here, I'm not sure anybody else knows I have an SSD. :)

I'd be sad to see Samsung leave the HDD market though. Been thinking about picking up an F3 1T for storage, may do anyway seeing as they're sub £40. :(
Fingers66 18th April 2011, 22:39 Quote
Ironically, a month ago I was speaking to a "Business Continuity Analyst" (DR engineer in old language) who swears by the WD EARS drives. He reckoned the Samsungs use cheaper components and doesn't trust them.

Horses for courses I guess.
NethLyn 18th April 2011, 22:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
I couldn't care less about cache or RPM, I just want a reliable storage drive and from the reviews I've read the greens just don't meet that. I've read many failures on the green line of drives and not nearly as many as a comparable Samsung drive

I have a Samsung AND a load of WDs, but stuck with Blue when they went colour coded because of dragging spindle speeds down. The colour coding system was a dumb idea and looks like it's contributed to a marketing as well as a technical failure.

Slag off WD all you like, they're not the ones looking to swan off out of the market.
azrael- 18th April 2011, 23:09 Quote
A bit OT, but I don't really know why people fawn so much over SSDs. There're too many inherent problems with them. Yes, they're fast *readers*, but at what cost? And I'm not only talking about the general price of an SSD (it's slowly coming down). You also need to keep a fair share if the drive free so as not to jeopardize the write speed (read/erase/write).

Write cycles go down with every die shrink; used to be 10000 write cycles and now it's down to 3-5000. There's only so much that wear leveling algorithms can do.

Oh and then there're the firmware updates. Bad luck if the update takes your data with it (Intel says hi).

I'm pretty sure SSDs will be amazing once they've ironed out those little "quirks".
John_T 18th April 2011, 23:26 Quote
I've used Samsung's exclusively since the nineties - never had a single one go yet (touch wood). Only ever change them to increase capacity when it becomes inefficient to keep the old ones in...

Glad to see the Seagate Momentus XT get a thumbs up though - I'm still mulling over getting one of those. They don't need TRIM, right?
Spreadie 18th April 2011, 23:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
A bit OT, but I don't really know why people fawn so much over SSDs. There're too many inherent problems with them. Yes, they're fast *readers*, but at what cost? And I'm not only talking about the general price of an SSD (it's slowly coming down). You also need to keep a fair share if the drive free so as not to jeopardize the write speed (read/erase/write).
My SSD reads and writes at twice the rate of my F1 drives (I haven't measured my F3 speeds yet)

Until a recent major upgrade and reinstall, I had well over 100gigs on my 120GB drive and it showed no evidence of slowing down - unlike mech drives, when they get near to their max capacity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
Write cycles go down with every die shrink; used to be 10000 write cycles and now it's down to 3-5000. There's only so much that wear leveling algorithms can do.
Five year warranty on my drive, some have ten.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
Oh and then there're the firmware updates. Bad luck if the update takes your data with it (Intel says hi).
Nope, I have updated the firmware without losing anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
I'm pretty sure SSDs will be amazing once they've ironed out those little "quirks".
Looks to me like they have most of them covered.

Yes, they are expensive. However, once you experience just how responsive your PC becomes, you can easily accept the premium.
driverwilliams 18th April 2011, 23:37 Quote
Well I have had wd and samsung hdds. Did purchase 2x2TB new (different batches) Seagate drives and both died with two days.
fluxtatic 19th April 2011, 04:00 Quote
Me, too, Nooooooooo

I've got a 1TB WD Green Drive, and it's awful. It's my media drive, and whenever I access it for the first time after boot, the lag is atrocious, to the point that it makes me nervous that it's failing. It hasn't yet, but the plan as of now is to replace it with Samsung 1-2TB drives. I don't believe I've had any unexpected failures from Seagate, but after the firmware debacle on the 1.5TB drives a few months back, I'm not entirely comfortable trusting them.

As I recall, there have been studies done, and it works out that all the manufacturers are roughly equal in failure rates. At least close enough that differences were within the margin of error. But it seems like some people are just not meant to own certain brands of drives, and hence you get the zealots that insist WD/Seagate/Hitachi/whatever are trash and WD/Seagate/Hitachi/whatever are the best. For me, when it gets right down to it, the only brand I will avoid forever is Hitachi. Even though it was IBM at the time, the 'Deathstar' drives have burned too deeply in my consciousness for me to trust them again.
InSanCen 19th April 2011, 07:41 Quote
I've had HD's from every brand fail, but given the amount I've had over 20 or so years, it's not surprising. All this will do is reduce competition further, potentially raising prices.

I can't see mechanical drives going anywhere for quite a few years... until SSD's have price parity with them, they will have a place in the market.
adidan 19th April 2011, 08:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
A bit OT, but I don't really know why people fawn so much over SSDs. There're too many inherent problems with them.
I have had no experience of any of the issues you mentioned in your post. At all. :?

I refer you to Spreadie's answer, no need for me to repeat it.

As for price, yes they are obviously more expensive than HDDs but do you remember how much they used to cost when they came out? In 2002 a 60Gb HDD cost about $140-$150 which is more, even when not accounting for inflation, than it costs for a 64Gb SSD now.
Cei 19th April 2011, 10:55 Quote
So long F3/F4.

I usually buy WD drives (Black for system, Green for NAS/storage), but I've got a 1.5TB Seagate external and it is the clickiest, noisiest thing ever. Hate it with a passion. Shame that Samsung's drives will become junk too.
Xir 19th April 2011, 16:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio
Either that or he hasn't tried a good ssd for a boot drive, I don't know anyone who didn't feel the massive difference going from hdd's to ssd for the boot drive.
Yeah, but they won't be replacing volume drives in the short run... ;)
adidan 19th April 2011, 21:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Yeah, but they won't be replacing volume drives in the short run... ;)
What are you talking about? You can get a 1Tb SSD from Kikatek clicky

Yes it is £2,300.20 but you do get free Super Saver delivery.

Edit: Oh noes, out of stock. :)
Spreadie 19th April 2011, 22:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
Edit: Oh noes, out of stock. :)
Aw crap, I was about to order a couple too... ;)
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