Running out of storage space on your Apple iPhone? Seagate (NYSE: STX ) has an idea: A wireless 500 GB hard drive, which may also hit a new dimension of data insecurity.
A new version of the GoFlex hard drive series can be connected via Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) to common smartphones and tablets including iOS and Android devices. The drive holds 500 GB and comes with its own rechargeable battery and can hold virtually all data of your digital life. The drive can connect to up to three mobile devices at a time and supports a free HDD app that is offered by Seagate via the Android and Apple app stores.
The GoFlex "Satellite" will be available in July and can be pre-ordered via Amazon, Best Buy or Seagate for $200.
It is, given its value proposition, a pricey drive. 16 GB micro SD cards currently sell for less than $20, and 32 GB cards for less than $60 -- and we expect 64 GB cards for less than $100 later this year. 32 GB and 64 GB may be more than enough for most people, and may be far more convenient to use than another external device that needs to be charged and draws substantial extra power via a Wi-Fi connection. (There is also USB 2 and 3 (included) as well as Firewire 800 or eSATA (sold separately) available via cables.)
The satellite also goes against the current pitch of cloud services, whose reputation may be a bit dented right now, but that may offer virtually limitless data storage on the road -- via a Wi-Fi or 4G connection. Seagate's main customers may be coming from devices that have fixed storage solutions, such as the iPhone or the iPad. I have no idea how many people are really desperate to carry all of their music, documents, and movies with them at all times, but I suspect it may be a tough sell to consumers who can extend their devices with flash memory cards.
We are also a bit concerned about data security. Seagate did not provide any information on data encryption on this device. Forgetting your phone is bad enough, but imagine you forget this hard drive at an airport or a hotel room.
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