In a recent white paper, Hitachi
The typical U.S. consumer stores 907 songs, 924 photos, 25 movies, and 7 games, while users in the world's most populous country, China, store 1,311 songs; 3,083 photos; 24 movies; and 22 games. To date, most hardware manufacturers have focused on the storage needs of large enterprises, but several companies are also targeting consumers.
Last week, Hitachi launched an improved 1-terabyte hard drive for desktop computing, followed by rival Seagate's
To compete for consumer dollars, hardware manufacturers will have to contend with the new kid on the block: cloud computing. Under this model, consumers "rent" storage space through a service provider, such as Amazon's
Even in a down market, the need for storage continues to rise. Think of all the resumes and virtual home tours being posted right now. Longer-term investors who take the time to research which companies are best able to capitalize on this trend may find some bargains at today's price levels.