I agree about HTCH, though they apparently messed up big-time (which isn't too surprising to me). Perhaps they will be able to rise from the dead or just linger along zombie like, similar to Innovex. Then again, this industry likes to starve their vendors to death and then eat them to get the stuff they are interested in. Pretty much how WD acquired Komag and ReadWrong.
With Toshiba losing most of its 'enterprise' biz this year to WD following the borg'ing of HGST this has got to be putting TDK/SAE's Magnecomp/Optimal and HGA/slider sales on the downswing. This could provide a little breathing space for HTCH, but WD would be more likely to just wait and pick them up cheap before really letting them get the business. It would then have to spend a couple years straightening them out like with their other 'resistance is futile' purchases, if necessary.
That scenario may not be so positive for STX, though they've already moved on (probably with NHK). Again, though it's likely another example of a component vendor being single sourced reducing the materials team pricing options. Even worse, is that with the improved market share WD is getting from enterprise, STX's cash cow may start running a bit dry. And don't overlook that doing Helium drives may very awkward for STX now. I'm still kind of waiting for WD to make some 'trade secret' infringement claims based M.Re's hiring.
There was a recent comment here about how Nidec is apparently not very happy as well. It's not like are a lot of HDD motor vendors out there either. Well, good one's anyway.
And of course, your mention of T.Mitchell must be referring to the lasting legacy of JTS. That was a company that took mobile drives BIG. STX will likely be announcing the first of its hydra-like 130 mm 'data tub' SOBs this year at ridiculously low RPMs and capacities only custom operating systems will be able to use. Not a problem for Google, Amazon, FaceBook, et al. , but I'd suspect they won't sell many to EMC, NetApp, HDS and the gang. Just need to dust off those old tools and it's off to the markets.
I needed to start a new topic anyway, but just wanted to respond. I couldn't due to the 'new and improved' board format so generously provided by Yahoo.
With the well documented history of Head development srcew-ups, which BTW saw Read Wrong go from #1 at 1 GB/in2 (98?) to bankruptucy in 24 months, if I was STX and WDC I would not let TDK slowly turn in the wind. HTCH deserved its current situation, but by most accounts TDK has been a credible head supplier.
"I'm still kind of waiting for WD to make some 'trade secret' infringement claims based M.Re's hiring"
FYI, I don't believe Re ever worked for WDC. He and his Asian mafia helped take Read Wrong into bankruptcy while Re stuffed his pockets with perks as the RDRT ship went down. His old CMU prof, Kryder bought him into STX. Another classic example of a drive exec creating a total FUBAR at one firm and then being handed another executive position at another firm.