This year will see the end of the iPod Classic and with it the 1.8-inch disk drive, 90 percent of which are sold by Toshiba. This is a testament to the rise of flash memory and Solid State Disk (SSD) drives, but that’s not the only cause or the only result, because I predict that late in the year the venerable 3.5-inch disk form factor will hit end-of-life, too.

Apple is by far the largest consumer of 1.8-inch disk drives with most of the rest going into competing media players and netbooks. Toshiba might be able to keep its 1.8-inch disk business going to serve those alternate markets but I don’t think Apple will allow it, […]