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Seagate Technology Announces Preliminary Results for Fiscal Second Quarter 2013

Seagate Technology plc today announced selected preliminary financial results for its fiscal second quarter of 2013, which ended on December 28, 2012.

Seagate expects to report fiscal second quarter 2013 revenue of at least $3.6 billion and gross margin of more than 27%, reflecting unit shipments of approximately 58 million and maintaining market share. These preliminary results compare to the Company's previous expectations for revenue of approximately $3.5 billion and gross margin at the lower end of the Company's long-term non-GAAP gross margin range of 27% to 32%.

Organize Your Home with Seagate Central Shared Storage

Seagate Technology plc today announced, its next-generation, networked home storage solution, Seagate Central shared storage, the first storage device to feature a Smart TV app for access to files on the big screen. A CES 2013 Innovations Honoree, Seagate Central delivers automatic backup for the entire home, access to digital movies and music from networked devices, as well as remote access from outside a home network. Seagate has also taken a new step in making Central storage a low-profile horizontal design, which takes cues from home entertainment and looks great in any living room.

Simple, Central Multi-Computer Backup

Seagate built this product for simplicity. By focusing on the number one need for homes with more than one computer, Seagate designed an easy, centralized backup for each computer in the home, regardless of operating system. Seagate retooled the software and user experience for the Seagate Central shared storage so that it seamlessly provides a backup for each system on a home network, even in a mixed platform environment of Windows OS and Mac OS X computers. In addition to automatic and continuous backup of all the computers in a home, Seagate Central can also backup photos and videos directly from Facebook, a feature first introduced in the award-winning Backup Plus line of external drives.

Seagate Introduces a New Wireless Hard Drive

Seagate Technology plc today announced the next evolution of the company's wireless storage category, Seagate Wireless Plus mobile device storage at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show. Designed to wirelessly stream content for up to eight smartphones or tablets with enough space for up to 500 high-definition movies, this new wireless hard drive, will extend the limits of today's mobile lifestyle. The new Seagate Wireless Plus now also includes a 10-hour battery life to match that of most tablets and smart phones. With the integrated 1 TB drive you'll have all you need to be entertained anywhere including long road trips or flights – without an Internet connection.

Seagate Wireless Plus mobile device storage is accessed through the mobile Seagate Media app for Apple iOS, Android and Kindle Fire HD devices. The Seagate Media app has been developed for all major mobile devices, including Android, Kindle Fire HD, Apple iOS and will also work with just about any device that can connect to a Wi-Fi network. Additionally, you can use Wireless Plus to enjoy video, photos, music and even documents on the big screen via Apple Airplay, DLNA or an app designed specifically for Samsung Smart TVs and Blu-ray players.

Marvell Ordered to Pay $1.17 Billion in Damages to University for Patent Infringment

Storage and application processor maker Marvell Technology has been ordered by a Federal Jury in the US state of Pennsylvania to pay a local university $1.17 billion in damages for patent-infringement. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) developed and patented a technology that "increases the accuracy with which hard disk drive circuits read data from high-speed magnetic disks," which Marvell has been found to be infringing. Why $1.17 billion? Because these chips are an indispensable component in modern mechanical hard disk drives, made by both Seagate and WD, among others.

If and when US District Court Judge Nora Barry Fischer agrees with the Jury ruling that Marvell's infringements of CMU's patents are "willful," the fine could triple, according to K&L Gates. The jury found that Marvell sold "billions" of chips carrying the University's technology. What makes this verdict important for the PC industry is that since Marvell's HDD components are widely incorporated in HDDs across various brands, should CMU seek a sales-ban, it could potentially affect HDD production the way last year's unfortunate floods in Thailand did.

Sources: CNN, arstechnica, Image Credit: The Register

QNAP Expands its Turbo NAS Compatibility List with New HDDs

QNAP Systems, Inc. announced today a major expansion of the number of compatible peripherals available for its Turbo NAS products. The major additions include ten 3.5-inch internal SATA hard drives and a Kingston 2.5-inch internal SATA hard drive.
The newly compatible 3.5" internal SATA hard drives:
  • Seagate - ST2000DM001 (2TB), ST2000NC000 (2TB), ST1000NC000 (1TB), ST3000NM0033 (Constellation ES.3) (3TB), ST2000NM0033 (Constellation ES.3) (2TB), ST1000NM0033 (Constellation ES.3) (1TB), ST500DM002 (500GB)
  • Western Digital - WD4000FYYZ (4TB), WD3000FYYZ (3TB), WD2000FYYZ (2TB)
  • The newly compatible 2.5" internal SATA hard drive:
  • Kingston - SSDNow E100 (100GB)

New Seagate Video 2.5 HDD Delivers Industry Leading Reliability and Energy Efficiency

Seagate Technology today announced the Seagate Video 2.5 HDD, a 2.5-inch drive specifically engineered for use in 24/7 video applications like digital video recorders (DVRs), set-top boxes (STBs), and surveillance applications.

The Video 2.5 HDD delivers superior performance and operation in three key areas of importance to manufacturers — high reliability, acoustics, and energy efficiency. Featuring best in class reliability, the drive has an annual failure rate of approximately 0.55, based on current configurations, enabling it to keep product in the field longer while reducing the cost of field deployment and maintaining customer retention. It also boasts 24/7 operation capabilities in extended temperature ranges and enhanced acoustics for near silent operation — features crucial for consumer electronics and video applications.

Seagate CEO Steve Luczo Named to Top 50 Businesspersons of the Year by Fortune Magazi

Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) today announced that Steve Luczo, president, CEO and chairman of Seagate has been named one of Fortune Magazine's top Businesspersons of the Year for 2012. This prestigious annual ranking honors the top performing leaders across multiple industries.

Selections were made from a variety of factors, including financial results, stock performance and market value of the company, as well as strategic savvy, the ability to gracefully steer a very large organization, risk taking, and cultural significance.

World Cyber Games Partners With Korean Air, NVIDIA and Seagate

World Cyber Games, Inc. (WCG), the recognized blue chip leader for international video game competitions, announced the partnership with Korean Air, NVIDIA and Seagate (alphabetical order).

As the leaders of each industry, Korean Air joined the WCG sponsor line as the festival sponsor, and NVIDIA and Seagate as the official sponsor to provide various services at the WCG 2012 Grand Final which will be held in Kunshan, China from November 29th to December 2nd.

Seagate Technology Reports Fiscal First Quarter 2013 Financial Results

Seagate Technology plc today reported financial results for the quarter ended September 28, 2012. During the first quarter, on a GAAP basis the company reported revenue of approximately $3.7 billion, gross margin of 28.4%, net income of $582 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.42. On a non-GAAP basis, which excludes the net impact of certain items, Seagate reported gross margin of 29.0%, net income of $594 million, and diluted earnings per share of $1.45.

In the September quarter, Seagate generated approximately $1.1 billion in cash from operations, paid cash dividends of $127 million and redeemed approximately 20.5 million ordinary shares or approximately 5% of ordinary shares at the beginning of the fiscal quarter for approximately $669 million. During the nine months ended September 28, 2012, Seagate redeemed approximately 109 million ordinary shares, resulting in an approximate reduction of 17% of the Company's share count. Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and short-term investments totaled approximately $2.5 billion at the end of the first quarter, a sequential increase of approximately $259 million.

Make Your Move to Windows 8 with Seagate

With the consumer availability of Microsoft Windows 8 operating system, Seagate Technology plc is helping to make the move as seamless as possible for those making the upgrade. Seagate Backup Plus family of drives is the essential upgrade tool to ensure that all your important files make the move with you. All of Seagate's external storage devices are compatible with current Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP, and will also work with the new Windows 8 OS.

According to Gartner's Forecast Analysis: PC OS Market, Worldwide, 2008-2015, 2011 Update, July 2011; "By the end of 2012 it is expected that 9.6 million of the installed base of personal computers will run Windows 8 and by 2013, it is predicted that 193.2 million personal computers in use will be running Windows 8."

Seagate Super Speeds New Backup Plus Portable for Mac

Seagate Technology plc. today introduced SuperSpeed USB 3.0 to the award-winning Backup Plus storage for Mac. Currently available through Amazon.com and from Apple Stores in November, both Backup Plus Portable for Mac and Backup Plus Desktop for Mac drives will feature the new USB 3.0 interface, which is also compatible with earlier USB 2.0 ports. This new interface means faster transfer of data, so you can backup more quickly, up to 10x that of USB 2.0, via TimeMachine or simply transferring a file from a computer to external storage.

Selected as the Editor's Choice portable external drive by PC Magazine, Seagate Backup Plus hard drives were first introduced in June of this year. Designed to work interchangeably with both Windows and Apple computers, these new drives deliver features to protect, share and save nearly every aspect of one's digital life. Seagate Backup Plus products include a software feature that makes them the world's first external hard drives to provide a way to backup content from social networks, such as Facebook and Flickr. The Seagate Dashboard software included on Backup Plus for Mac drives delivers a quick and easy path to Save and Share personal photos and videos on Facebook and Flickr.

Apple's Seagate Hard Drive Troubles Date Back to 2009

An increasing number of Apple iMac customers are facing troubles with Seagate-made 1 TB hard drives their iMacs shipped with, since 2011. Apple responded with a free no-questions-asked hard drive replacement program for affected customers, but evidently believes some customers may be using faulty Seagate hard drives from even before 2011. The company stretched its hard drive replacement program to cover iMacs purchased between October 2009 and July 2011. "Apple has determined that certain Seagate 1TB hard drives used in 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac systems may fail," said Apple.

The company is holding a list of iMacs by their serial numbers, which are likely to be affected by faulty hard drives. Customers who registered their iMacs have already been contacted, while others are presented with an online tool that lets you check if yours is one of those affected iMacs. Apple and its Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) are tasked with carrying out these free replacements. Customers will now be covered by replacement protection for three years, that's up to April 2013.

Source: TechEye.net

Seagate Expands Its Enterprise Hard Drive Portfolio

Seagate Technology today announced three new enterprise-class hard disk drives (HDD) optimized for traditional data centers and emerging cloud infrastructures.

Perfect for cloud bulk data storage, the Seagate Enterprise Value HDD provides up to 3 TB of storage in a low-power configuration that is perfect for efficiently and affordably storing the ever-growing amount of unstructured data typically stored in the cloud. The company also announced its next generation of highly-reliable hard disk drives, the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD featuring the industry's widest range of capacities (1, 2, 3 and 4 TB) of secure data storage for robust data center usage and the Seagate Enterprise Performance 10K HDD which delivers best-in-class performance and built-in security for optimized storage efficiency and data protection.

New Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance To Promote Cloud Innovation And Growth

Seagate announced the Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance, a new strategic partner category within the company’s existing Seagate Partner Program. The new program provides technical information, customer insights, market knowledge and delivers partners the tools needed to expand their businesses providing cloud storage technology. The Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance highlights system builders that design, integrate, and deliver custom servers and storage systems used in cloud data centers.

Through the Cloud Builder Alliance, partners will receive business and technology planning, sales and marketing resources, lead generation, training and certification, and system reference design development from Seagate Design Centers globally. The program will also equip members with dedicated sales tools including a cloud sales playbook, market insights and customer presentations. Select partners will collaborate with Seagate on solution development and reference designs, PR and marketing initiatives, and strategic direction and business planning. Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance participants include Ciara Technologies, Intequus, NuCloud Global, Supermicro, Xyratex, and ZT Systems to name a few.

Microsoft Announces Increase in Quarterly Dividend

Microsoft Corp. today announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.23 per share, reflecting a 3 cent or 15 percent increase over the previous quarter's dividend. The dividend is payable December 13, 2012 to shareholders of record on November 15, 2012. The ex-dividend date will be November 13, 2012.

The company also announced that Raymond V. Gilmartin, former chairman, president and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., Inc., has decided that after 11 years of service, he will retire from and not seek re-election to Microsoft's board of directors at the company's 2012 annual meeting of shareholders.

Seagate and Intel to Demonstrate Solid State Hybrid Drive Capabilities at IDF

Seagate Technology announced today that they will be working with Intel Corporation to demonstrate new advancements in solid state hybrid drives (SSHD) at this year's Intel Developer Forum taking place September 11-13, 2012, at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco. In the Advanced Technology Zone of the event, Intel will demonstrate Seagate's latest solid state hybrid drive design, accelerated with Intel Smart Response Technology, which run common office productivity applications almost on par with solid state drives.

Separately, an educational presentation titled "Ultrabook Responsiveness: Performance & Power End-Users Can Feel", will provide details on how SSHD technology combined with Intel Smart Response Technology will contribute to a powerful new combination of performance and capacity in the next generation Ultrabook devices. Solid state hybrid drives combine performance similar to a solid state drive with the large capacity of a hard disk drive in a single disk drive enclosure.

Western Digital Shakes off Thai Flood Impact, Retakes Hard Drive Market Lead in Q2

Six months after losing the top spot in the global hard disk drive (HDD) segment due to the Thai flooding disaster, Western Digital Corp. in the second quarter recovered its market lead from chief rival Seagate Technology, according to an IHS iSuppli Storage Space Market Brief from information and analytics provider IHS.

Western Digital produced approximately 71.0 million HDD units in the second quarter, including production from Hitachi GST, a company acquired by Western Digital earlier in the year. Revenue for Western Digital amounted to $4.8 billion—a company record.

In comparison, Seagate shipped 65.9 million HDD units during the same period, with revenue reaching $4.5 billion—also a record in Seagate's books.

Seagate Completes Acquisition of a Controlling Interest in LaCie

Following their press releases issued on May 23, 2012 and June 14, 2012, Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ:STX) and LaCie S.A. (Euronext:LAC) announced today the completion of the purchase by Seagate of all of the shares of Philippe Spruch and his affiliate, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie for a provisional price of €4.05 per share. The price payable to Philippe Spruch and his affiliate may be increased by 3%, to €4.17 per share, in the event that within six months following today's date, Seagate holds at least 95% of the share capital and voting rights of LaCie.

The completion of the transaction follows the required clearances from the French Ministry of Finance and the US and German Antitrust Authorities. As a result of the completion of the transaction, Seagate intends to file in the coming weeks with the French Autorité des marches financiers an all-cash simplified tender offer on the remaining LaCie shares.

Seagate Appoints Gary Gentry to Lead Solid State Drive Business

Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) today announced that Gary Gentry has rejoined Seagate to lead its solid state drive (SSD) business as senior vice president, SSD. Mr. Gentry will have responsibility for driving Seagate leadership in the SSD space, with time-to-market, competitive product offerings. He will be located in Longmont, Colorado and will report directly to Rocky Pimentel, chief sales and marketing officer.

Mr. Gentry has over 25 years of experience in the storage industry, including most recently as the general manager of the Enterprise SSD Division of Micron Corporation. Prior to rejoining Seagate, he held leadership positions focusing on solid-state technologies at Spansion Corporation and Storage Genetics. He also served as chief marketing officer for Maxtor, and provided strategic consulting to Hitachi Global Storage Systems. While at Seagate he held various management positions including vice president, strategic marketing and planning.

Seagate Reports Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2012 and Year-End 2012 Financial Results

Seagate Technology plc today reported financial results for the quarter and fiscal year ended June 29, 2012. During the fourth quarter, on a GAAP basis the company reported revenue of approximately $4.5 billion, gross margin of 33.1%, net income of $1.0 billion and diluted earnings per share of $2.37. On a non-GAAP basis, which excludes the net impact of certain items, Seagate reported gross margin of 33.6% and diluted earnings per share of $2.41.

In the June quarter, Seagate generated approximately $1.4 billion in cash from operations, paid cash dividends of $106 million and used approximately $1.2 billion to redeem approximately 45 million ordinary shares. Through the first half of the 2012 calendar year, Seagate has redeemed approximately 88 million ordinary shares, representing approximately 19% of the company's market capitalization. Cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and short-term investments totaled $2.2 billion at the end of the fourth quarter, a sequential increase of approximately $67 million.

Century Intros 12.5 mm-thick 2.5-inch Drive Dock

Century Japan released a new drive dock (model: CMRK-S4) for PCs with vacant 5.25-inch drive bays, which provides four 2.5-inch SATA hot-swap drive bays, supporting drives as thick as 12.5 mm (such as WD VelociRaptor without its heatsink, or Seagate Cheetah. The four bays have lockable caddies. Since this is a passive dock, the SATA connections are relayed to the back. The four bays are cooled by a 40 mm exhaust fan on the back. The fan spins at speeds of around 4,000 RPM, with noise output around 25 dBA. Measuring 145.7 x 149.3 x 41.6 mm (WxDxH), the dock weighs 500 g, owing to its mostly metallic built. Slated for early August, it is expected to be priced at 3,980 JPY (US $50).

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Seagate and DensBits Announce Strategic Agreement for Development of SSDs

Seagate Technology plc the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, and DensBits Technologies Ltd (“DensBits”) the inventor of the world's first Memory ModemTM have announced today a strategic agreement for the development of low-cost, high-performance Solid State Drives (“SSD”) for the consumer and enterprise markets. In conjunction with the agreement, Seagate has made an undisclosed equity investment in DensBits.

Seagate and DensBits are joining forces, to develop future products that are intended to provide customers with significant cost savings, extremely high reliability, and unparalleled performance. Under the agreement, DensBits’ Memory ModemTM controller technology will be integrated with Seagate’s various storage technologies to power a wide range of consumer and enterprise applications including 3 bits/cell (“TLC”) 1Xnm Flash-based consumer-grade SSD, and 2 bits/cell (“MLC”) 1x nm Flash-based enterprise-grade SSD.

Seagate and LaCie Announce Signature of Binding Share Purchase Agreement

Following their press release issued on May 23, 2012 announcing exclusive negotiations and the receipt on June 8, 2012 of the opinion of the employee representative body of LaCie S.A., Seagate Technology plc and LaCie announced today that Seagate, Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO, and his affiliate, have entered into a binding share purchase agreement to purchase all of the shares of Philippe Spruch and his affiliate, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie for a provisional price of €4.05 per share (as may be adjusted downwards depending on the cash and debt position of LaCie at closing).

As previously announced, Ricol Lasteyrie & Associés have been appointed as independent expert by the Board of Directors of LaCie on June 23, 2012. The transaction has already received clearance from the US Antitrust Authorities but remains subject to regulatory approval in France (approval of foreign investments by the Ministry of Finance) and Germany (antitrust filing) and to other customary closing conditions.
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