Seagate followed, and in many ways out-did Western Digital in slashing warranties, even on their nearline storage disks. This shouldn’t be a surprise since Western Digital cut its warranties last week and STH noted it is likely Seagate would follow suit.
- Constellation 2 and ES.2 drives: 3 years (from 5)
- Momentus, Barracuda and Barracuda Green drives: 1 year (from 5)
- Barracuda XT and Momentus XT: 3 years (from 5)
Overall, this is a huge cut and is really something we should be worried about from an industry perspective. Remember, both Seagate and Western Digital are seeing Samsung and Hitachi acquisitions getting approved by regulatory bodies right now, so it is likely that in 2012, the majority of desktop and notebook drives will have greatly reduced warranty periods.
Interestingly, Seagate’s 1 year warranty seems like a signal to Western Digital saying “Let’s try 1 year.” I wouldn’t be surprised if within 3-6 months, Western Digital followed Seagate’s lead. Also, Seagate cut the constellation series, or a series of drives aimed at enterprise storage. Nothing was mentioned of the Cheetah and Savvio drives which are marketed at high-end enterprise storage, but that may make sense because those product lines are under massive pressure from solid-state plays. It would not be inconceivable that in five years the Cheetah and Savvio lines almost become extinct.