IDC Survey Reveals Attachment Rate of High-Capacity Removable Magnetic Storage Devices is Increasing

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 22 /PRNewswire/ — The attachment of high-capacity removable magnetic storage devices to PCs is increasing. However, these devices are still sold as an after-market option, according to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) survey titled U.S. Removable Magnetic User Survey, 1998.

Ten percent of commercial respondents from the survey said at the time of purchase their PCs were equipped with a high-capacity magnetic drive such as a Zip, SuperDisk, or Jaz. However, when the same respondents were asked if their PCs are currently equipped with such a device, the response rate doubled. The survey data from consumer respondents reveals an even larger trend toward after-market sales. Approximately 8% of consumer respondents bought their PCs with a high-capacity magnetic drive, but more than 28% currently have them.

"In the past, PC OEMs have been reluctant to build in high-capacity magnetic drives as a standard feature because of the additional cost they add," said Robert Amatruda, Senior Analyst, Tape and Removable Storage with IDC's Storage Mechanisms Research program. "This has created a burgeoning after-market for these drives." IDC believes that OEM opportunities do exist for manufacturers of high-capacity removable magnetic storage.

The U.S. Removable Magnetic User Survey, 1998 represents IDC's first formal review of commercial and consumer segments specifically designed to uncover trends in the usage of fixed, optical, and removable magnetic data storage devices. It reveals insights with regard to usage patterns of these devices.

When asked what specific brand of removable magnetic drive they have on their PCs, an overwhelming majority of both commercial and consumer respondents indicated that they have a Zip drive. The survey indicates that the most common use of Zip drives among commercial users is as a data interchange tool, as cited by close to 61% of respondents. Consumer users, on the other hand, are mostly using their Zip drive for backup, as indicated by nearly 32% of respondents.

"High-capacity removable magnetic storage now fulfills a broad range of user needs in both the commercial/business and consumer arenas," Amatruda said. "These devices serve as a conduit for backup, archive, date interchange, and migration of data for long-term storage." IDC believes the outlook for high-capacity removable magnetic storage remains strong as commercial and consumer users continue to need incremental fast access storage.

To purchase a copy of the bulletin based on the survey, U.S. Removable Magnetic User Survey Results, 1998 (IDC #B18359), contact Sue Beauregard at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 4774 or at For more information on IDC's Storage Mechanisms Research program, please visit IDC's Web site ( contains additional company information, recent news releases, and it offers full-text searching of the latest available research.

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