As a newly-minted Mac fan, I was happy to see the news this week that its new MacBook Air would be dropping the traditional hard drive for some nice solid-state flash memory ranging from 64 to 256GB. Apple as much admits on its site that it has made this move on the strength of the success of flash in the iPad: “We learned a lot from iPad. The new MacBook Air is proof. It’s designed around all-flash storage for better responsiveness and reliability.” Apple claims it took the flash out of its module and used just the chips to “free up about 90% more space.”
What impact will this have on the hard disk drive market? Admittedly, SSDs have been coming after HDDs hard in the last few quarters. Western Digital's CEO John Hoyne is quoted in The Register as saying he thinks sales of flash-driven devices, like the iPad and now the MacBook Air, could reduce HDD growth by 10 to 20% for the rest of this year and into 2011. Yikes.
Thoughts? Comments? Fears? Sound off below.