June 2, 2004 1:10 PM PDT

New Toshiba minidrive to pump up Apple's iPod?

Toshiba said Wednesday that it plans to release a 60GB version of its 1.8-inch hard drive, potentially paving the way for higher capacity iPods.

The 60GB drive, which was discussed at Taiwan's Computex trade show, is due out in late summer or early fall, according to a U.S. representative for Toshiba.

Apple Computer does not comment on future devices, but the company has historically gobbled up new capacity as it becomes available, boosting the upper reaches of the iPod's storage capacity, which now tops out at 40GB.

The 40GB drive is already roomy enough to store 10,000 songs, according to Apple. Apple historically has used 1.8-inch drives from Toshiba in its iPods but uses 1-inch, 4GB hard drives from Hitachi in its iPod Mini music player.

A Toshiba representative could not confirm that the coming 60GB drive would head into Apple devices.

Apple declined to comment on Toshiba's planned drive.

Hard drives have become increasingly popular as a means to store data in consumer electronics products, such as digital music players and digital video recorders.

Toshiba's planned 1.8-inch drive will have two platters, each holding 30GB of data. That will be a jump from the 20GB packed onto each of the two platters in Toshiba's current highest-capacity 1.8-inch drive.

Toshiba also makes drives that measure 0.85 inch across.

 

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