SanDisk’s Eli sings the Blu-Ray blues

May 19, 2009

The flash memory business may be suffering its worst slump ever, but SanDisk CEO Eli Harari is carving tombstones for other businesses.

The No.1 endangered technology, Harari said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit on Tuesday, is the Blu-Ray DVD. Because the discs don’t work with smartphones, which consumers are increasingly using to watch video, Harari says their days are numbered.

He did not give a time frame for this extinction, though he did note at one point that the average period of time it takes for a new technology to render an existing technology obsolete is five to seven years.

Floppy discs, once a standard component on PCs, have been replaced by flash-based USB drives. And photographic film for cameras has become a fading memory since the advent of digital cameras.

Of course, SanDisk has been striving for several years to make inroads in the market for music CDs, offering prepackaged tunes on its flash memory cards, but CDs have yet to disappear.

And the long-hyped solid state, flash-based hard drives are still struggling to compete with the traditional mechanical hard drives found in most PCs today.

Harari said the battle with hard drives is still in its early days. But compared to his DVD death sentence, he seemed somewhat more accommodating for hard drives.

“The disk drive industry is a very successful industry, very dynamic,” Harari said. “I think there’s room for coexistence.”

(Reuters photo)

4 comments

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If I was Eli I would be worrying about his own industry, but perhaps this is his way if deflecting attention away from his own worries. Flash drives, Thumb drives, once in common use on US Government computers are now history. No longer allow due to security concerns. I expect the commercial industry to follow suit and that only leaves the public sector, a huge market that no longer exists for Eli and his company.

Posted by George | Report as abusive

I still remember the early years when we used a cassette player to load software. I also remember how happy we were when the floppy disk arrived, no more data loss because of faulty tapes, this was the ultimate high-tech invention and we believed things couldn’t get much better.

For stored hi-def video, blu-ray is it for now. But I wouldn’t mind if blu-ray gets replaced by a mini flash memory card that can do the exact same thing. Whether I plug it into my home hi-def monitor or my cell phone. That would be cool!

Posted by Gerry Baker | Report as abusive

If this guy seriously thinks comparing watching a Blu-ray on an HDTV or a HD projector with 5.1 or 7.1 audio to watching a movie or video on a 3-4″ screen smartphone is a valid comparison, and if SanDisk has a board of directors, they need to seriously consider getting a new CEO. Two completely different markets. I don’t know if Blu-ray will last or not, but if it doesn’t, it won’t be because you can’t play it on a smartphone.

Posted by Kent | Report as abusive