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Seagate to join tiny-drive fray

The struggling company plans to ship later this year 1-inch disk drives with up to 5GB of storage capacity. The drives could be used in music players and digital cameras.

A struggling Seagate Technology plans to ship later this year 1-inch disk drives with up to 5GB of storage capacity. The drives could be used in music players and digital cameras. Seagate, which recently announced a plan to shed about 2,900 workers and also said its market share for drives for notebook computers and other mobile devices could fall, aims to formally announce the small drives next week as part of a broader product launch. Other devices slated to be unveiled include a 400GB drive targeted at the digital video recorder market. In all, the 12 new products will allow the company's lineup to cover 97 percent of the $22 billion disk drive market, up from 75 percent today, a Seagate representative said.

Other companies already make drives that are 1-inch in diameter for products including Apple Computer's iPod Mini music player. Disk drives have emerged as an important means for storing data in digital consumer electronics gear.