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Iomega to update Zip to 250MB

Anti-Sony, Samsung spoiler tactic could also sidestep 'click of death' suit

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Iomega will this week announce the successor to its popular 100MB Zip drive in a move designed to spoil Sony's soon-to-ship 200MB HiFD drive and Samsung's announcement of its forthcoming 123MB Pro-FD drive. The new Zip drive and media will offer a capacity of 250MB. However, it's not yet clear whether it will provide an equivalent performance boost over the Sony and Samsung drives, both of which are significantly faster than the original 100MB Zip. Equally, Iomega has yet to say whether the new Zip will offer backward compatibility with floppy drives, a feature all three of its rivals -- the Sony and Samsung drives, and Imation's SuperDisk drive -- offer and which the 100MB Zip failed to provide. Floppy disk support is key to where Iomega hopes to position the new drive. According to storage market researcher Disk/Trends, quoted on ZDNN, Iomega has had the 250MB ready for some time but was waiting for the Sony drive to ship before announcing its own product.That implies it is focusing more on the OEM floppy drive replacement market than the personal storage business that brought success to the original Zip. OEMs have been reluctant to commit to Zip fully because they still needed to fit a floppy drive. Its rivals, however, can argue that with their units, PC vendors need not fit a floppy drive. However, prices have so far been too high for them to view these high capacity drives as anything other than optional to Iomega's benefit. And with renewed interest in the 'click of death' fault allegedly endemic in 100MB Zip drives -- allegations recently brought back to life through a lawsuit filed against the company (see Iomega sued over Zip-zapping 'click of death'), the new Zip also provides Iomega with a neat way of sidestepping the problem. ® See also Samsung readies fast floppy replacement

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