The global rise in digital devices and the associated hunger for data is triggering a tremendous boom in the storage media market

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The market, however, has  changed  in  recent years.

While VHS, music cassettes and diskettes  still dominated  the  market  just  a  decade ago,  GfK  reports that  External  Hard drives,USB drives and Memory Cards are now the front-runners.

According to the manufacturer Verbatim, GfK anticipates a total volume of over 14  million 2.5" and 3.5" external hard drives sold in Western Europe in  2008. "For  Verbatim, this development represents significant potential for  growth," says  Rdiger  Theobald, Marketing and Business Development Manager, Verbatim EUMEA. "Consequently, our product portfolio offers a diverse range of storage media. With these products, we will be building upon our strong market position. At the same time we are offering our business partners  the  opportunity to harness  the market's  growth potential by relying on a strong  brand offering premium  products at fair prices." With the takeover of the hard disk business division  of Smartdisk,  a  leading player on the American  market last June, Verbatim has aligned its strategy clearly with the external hard drives market.

In autumn,  the company unveiled its first hard drive range in  2.5"  and 3.5" format. A completely new range in a new, slimline design has been available on the market since April. "We now have the ideal essentials in terms of  product quality and expertise for External Hard drives. Combined with our sleek design, we will  set the course on the HDD market in 2008. International test successes shortly  after the product launch confirm the premium quality of our  products," says Theobald.

Massive  growth is also evident on the USB Flash drive market, with over 40 million  units  being sold in Western Europe in 2007. On the  heavily fragmented market,  many  competitors vie for customer preference, with only a few  brands reaching  a market share of more than 10 per cent. As compared to 2006, Verbatim has significantly increased its market share in the USB storage  sector. "In Europe, we have a market share of just under 5 per cent, which puts us among the front-runners.  Here too, the company sees further tremendous opportunities  for growth and in April we have launched a completely new range of USB drives  onto the  market  that are targeted at different groups with varying specifications, capacities and prices. "We are convinced that our market share in 2008 will increase with the new USB drive generation," explains Theobald.

Verbatim  also believes that the booming Flash Memory card market also harbours major opportunities. The company has expanded its portfolio  of Flash Memory cards. The new, high-performance Compact Flash and SD HC Flash cards are geared towards professional users and are available with a storage capacity of up to 16 GB. With its new generation of cards, Verbatim is launching an offensive to address the globally rising demand for memory cards with large capacities  and short transfer times for all types of applications.

"As the figures published by the Santa Clara Consulting Group (SCCG) confirm, we have further expanded our European market leadership in the field  of optical storage  media significantly and recorded gains in all product sectors in  2007. It is now important to recognise the sign of the times and position our company on the rapidly-growing Flash and external hard drive markets. To this end, we offer our business partners a broad variety of high-quality products, outstanding customer support and excellent deliverability," explains Theobald.

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