Mobile phones with hard drives? Well, I guess it had to start becoming the norm sooner or later. Toshiba announced today that it will be shipping its mobile phone-oriented 2GB, 0.85in hard drive by the end of January, with 4GB, 6GB and 8GB drives coming in the next year or so.

Toshiba is pitching the part at "next-generation mobile digital devices", but it's a good bet phone makers are going to take a keen interest in the drive, particularly given the clear convergence between handsets, PDAs and, increasingly, digital media players. Toshiba's hard drives may enable handset makers to incorporate large storage capacities more cost-effectively than they can with Flash-based memory cards, and potentially reach higher capacities more quickly.