Toshiba is so good that it is shipping ahead of schedule! The company has confirmed that it will be putting its 4GB 0.85in micro hard drive into volume production next month. The devices will therefore ship to consumers in April, rather than in the original time of mid-2005. Initially, production will be in the range of 20,000-30,000 units a month, though the company intends to raise that figure over successive months. The lesser 2GB model will begin shipping at the end of this month.

Both versions spin at 3600rpm, weigh less than 10g and operate at 3.3V. They can stand 1000G of operating shock, Toshiba claims.

The manufacturer is pitching the parts at mobile phones, PDAs and compact MP3 players. Earlier this month, Samsung demoed a music-oriented smart phone, the i300, which incorporates a 3GB hard drive.