During Apple's most recent Mac event, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the new MacBook Air represented the future of the notebook. The major hardware difference between the Air and traditional notebooks is that it features a Solid State Drive (SSD) rather than a typical hard drive. Seagate meanwhile believes that SSDs won't be killing off traditional hard drives in the notebook sector, and will be replaced instead by hybrids.
"Obviously Steve [Jobs] sits in a position that only Steve sits in, in terms of the offering that they provide to their customers and its obviously pretty competing," Seagate CEO Steve Luczo said during the Q&A section in the company's last earnings call. "I would say though that from what we know of the offering for example Apple, the percentage of their units that they sell with SSDs versus HDDs is a tiny fraction. I think it's under three percent, certainly under five percent. Obviously this isn't the first product that they've had." You can read the whole transcript of the conference call over at Seeking Alpha.
Luczo goes on to say that he's had a Macbook Air with an SSD in it for a year and half now and he finds "the lack of capacity" frustrating since he spends "a lot of time cleaning out files" in order to "make room for not a lot content." He also complains that his "SSD drive takes about 25, 30 seconds to boot now versus the 12 seconds" it took when he first bought it, though he admits that has more to do with the OS than the SSD technology. His point is that Seagate's hybrid HDD/SSD devices don't suffer from this same problem. "I think as Seagate introduced hybrid drive last quarter, you get basically the features and function of SSD at more like disc drive cost and capacity... So I think that's where mainstream notebook computing is going," he concluded.