Seagate claims one billion hard drives shipped record

Seagate Technology is claiming to be the first manufacturer to have shipped one billion hard drives. The one billion hard drives Seagate has delivered equates to approximately 79 million terabytes (Tb), able to store 158 billion hours of digital video, or 1.2 trillion (Tr) hours of music.

Although it took 29 years to reach the one billion milestone, Seagate reckons it will ship its next billion before the end of 2012. Seagate's billionth-drive milestone comes as hard drive shipments continue to increase exponentially. According to Gartner Group, last year alone more than 500 million drives were shipped, compared to 1990, when slightly less than 30 million entered the market.

The 55,000-employee company's first product - the ST506 hard drive of 1979 - could store 5Mb of data. The drive weighed about five pounds and cost around $1,500 - approximately $300 per megabyte. A typical 2008-era Seagate hard drive offers a terabyte of data, which has enough capacity to record 32 days of high-definition video around the clock, at a cost of 1/5000th of a cent ($0.00022)-per-megabyte.

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Image: Seagate's first product, the ST506 hard drive of 1979, could store 5Mb of data

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