Seagate holds a patent for some aspects of drive/PC communication and may just start enforcing those selfsame patents if this whole SSD craze takes off.
But the key thing, Watkins argues, is that SSDs are just too expensive, and will be for a long time. Just look at the MacBook Air. There are two versions of the Apple laptop, one with an 80 GB hard drive for $1,800, and one with a 64 GB SSD for $3,100. Why pay so much more for less storage? It’s not a difficult choice.
“Realistically, I just don’t see the flash notebook sell,” Watkins says. “We just don’t see the proposition.”
But in case flash prices continue to plummet and the flash drives really do catch on, Watkins has something else up his sleeve. He’s convinced, he confides, that SSD makers like Samsung and Intel (INTC) are violating Seagate’s patents. (An Intel spokeswoman says the company doesn’t comment on speculation.) Seagate and Western Digital (WDC), two of the major hard drive makers, have patents that deal with many of the ways a storage device communicates with a computer, Watkins says. It stands to reason that sooner or later, Seagate will sue – particularly if it looks like SSDs could become a real threat.
Flash vs. hard drive battle heats up [Fortune]