Western Digital Improves Mobile Data Storage

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Western Digital Corp.’s (WDC) HGST unveiled the USB 3.0 Touro S mobile external hard drives. The new Touro S mobile drives enable users to backup data on hard drives as well as on cloud. Moreover, the Touro hard drives facilitate faster data transfer than other variants currently available.

Touro S Drive comes with a storage space of 1TB and is priced at $99.95. There’s also another version: the 500 GB Touro S drive, priced at $79.95. With the 1TB local hard drive storage, buyers will get 3 GB of Touro Cloud Backup for free, which is upgradeable to 250 GB at an annual cost of $59. The hard drives are compatible with Apple’s (AAPL) Mac and PC versions. Moreover, customers who upgrade their Touro Cloud Backup will receive free iPhone and iPad apps.

The launch comes at an opportune moment as storage services related to smartphones and tablets are being adopted on a large scale. The company is expected to get good mileage from its cloud-based business. Cloud-based storage has become the order of the day as it enables the access of content through different gadgets such as smartphone, tablets and personal computers.

To cater to this pent-up demand, the company expanded its My Cloud solutions with My Cloud EX4, a broader portfolio of network attached storage hard drives. My Cloud EX4 will help the company meet growing business needs with improved flexibility and security. Since it can be accessed through iOS and Android operating systems, users will be able to access data via smartphones or tablets.

Moreover, the company is shifting its business model to more non-PC oriented applications. In the last-reported quarter, 34% of revenues came from non-PC applications. Additionally, strategic acquisitions to expand its offerings in the SSD segment is expected to place Western Digital in a better position compared to its peers Seagate (STX), SanDisk Corp. (SNDK) and Fusion-io.

However, sluggish macroeconomic factors coupled with declining PC market and higher investments on innovative products remain the headwinds.

Currently, Western Digital has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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