Western Digital stretches out warranty life on hard drives

(AUSTRALIAN RESELLER NEWS) SYDNEY -- Western Digital Corp. has increased the warranty period of some of its hard drives by standardizing all enterprise drives to five years and desktop and notebook drives to three years.

Previously, some of these warranties were valid for only one year.

All drives sold through WD's authorized distributors, such as Achieva Technology, Esys, Ingram Micro, Synnex and Westan, and manufactured or purchased after June 1, are affected by the new policy.

WD CEO Arif Shakeel said the move was to align the warranty period with customers' other systems.

"Many of our customers offer three-year warranties on their desktop and notebook systems and five-year warranties on their servers," he said. "WD's new warranty policy aligns with the industry standards and meets or exceeds customer expectations."

The decision was spurred by a recent survey of thousands of WD customers that found that hard drive buyers overwhelmingly rate reliability as the most important feature in a drive, Shakeel said. Warranty, performance and capacity were also high on customers' lists of priorities. WD desktop and notebook hard drives, including WD Scorpio, WD Caviar, WD Caviar SE and WD Caviar SE16 drive families, are now all covered by WD's three-year warranty.

The company's enterprise drives, including WD Raptor and WD Caviar RE, are now supported with its five-year warranty.

WD spokesman Steve Shattuck, said he did not expect the changes to the warranties to have any immediate effect on sales.

Daniel Feldman, Synnex marketing manager, said the move was a good one for the channel and for the distributor specifically.

"This is primarily a strategy to combat Seagate's five-year warranty and increase market share," he said. "It is also mainly targeting the systems integrator market, which is an important part of what we do."

More information about WD's warranty policy is available on the company's Web site.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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