Sony says goodbye to floppy disks
You probably didn’t know that Sony still makes floppy disks. It does, but not for much longer.
Sony will stop selling 3.5-inch floppy disks in March 2011 due to — wait for it — slumping demand, Macworld reports. The company stopped selling the disks overseas last month, with the exception of India and some other regions, says Mainichi Daily News. CrunchGear notes that Hitachi Maxell and Mitsubishi Kagaku pulled out of the business as early as last year. I’m not sure who is left in the business.
Macworld says Sony had 70 percent of the floppy disk market in Japan last year, selling an unbelievable 8.4 million disks at roughly $6 for a 10-pack. Most of those customers are in the education and research sectors. I’m guessing they’re either stuck using the disks because the data they’ve got on them is really important, or they just really need new machines. In any case, if you took the data from all 12 million disks sold in Japan last year, it’d fit on roughly 700 single-sided Blu-ray disks.
Floppy disks were of course replaced by the CD-R — Apple was the first computer maker to ditch the format, with its iMac in 1998 — and we’re just now starting to see the phasing out of optical media, mostly in netbooks and thin laptops. These days, hard drives and USB flash drives are the best way to transfer data unless you’re dealing with video for a DVD player.
If it took this long for Sony to pull out of floppy disks, it’ll be maybe a decade before optical media suffers the same fate. But that just makes me wonder what’ll happen to the next storage medium. In 20 years, maybe the Internet will be fast enough, and servers dense enough, for everything to be stored in the cloud.
8 Comments on Sony says goodbye to floppy disks
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When I started a new job in 2000 I saw they had an old machine (still in use at the time) that used the old 8" floppies.
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