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8/16/2006
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Seagate To Keep Maxtor Brand

Seagate will use the Maxtor brand for desktop and notebook drives.

Seagate Technology on Wednesday said it plans to pursue a dual-brand strategy in the wake of its $1.9 billion acquisition of fellow hard-drive maker Maxtor.

Seagate, which closed its acquisition of Maxtor in May, will continue to use both the Seagate and Maxtor brands, with each having its own identity for a particular range of products, said Marc Jourlait, vice president of segment marketing for the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based storage vendor.

The aim is to maintain and differentiate the two brands similar to the way Hewlett-Packard does with its Pavilion and Presario brands, Jourlait said. Pavilion is a native HP brand, while Presario came via the Compaq acquisition.

"For customers, integrators and system builders, it's a matter of giving them choice," Jourlait said. "The name, product and wraparound marketing will be separate. We want to capitalize on the fact that both brands have brand-name recognition."

The task of maintaining both brands won't be difficult, since there was little product overlap between the legacy Seagate and Maxtor organizations, according to Jourlait.

The Seagate brand will be used for leading technology, such as 750-Gbyte drives, hybrid drives with built-in flash memory cache and models with built-in encryption, he said.

"We continue to be six month ahead of everyone else in technology," Jourlait said. "We have the support for higher-end relationships, including the engineering support."

The Maxtor brand will be used for basic desktop and notebook PC hard drives. Maxtor previously didn't offer laptop drives, Jourlait said. In October, Seagate plans to formally launch the Maxtor MobileMax notebook hard-drive line to complement its Momentus mobile PC drive line, he said.

Seagate also expects different buyers for the two brands, Jourlait added. The company expects Seagate-branded products to appeal to tech-savvy customers seeking the latest technology and Maxtor-branded products to attract more price-conscious customers, he said.

As part of the new branding, Seagate will continue to support Maxtor's current customer base, as well as maintain and refocus Maxtor's DiamondMax product line.

The MobileMax line will include laptop hard drives in 40-Gbyte to 100-Gbyte capacities, while the Momentus brand will comprise 120-Gbyte and 160-Gbyte drives. Seagate also plans to launch a new series of 40-Gbyte to 320-Gbyte hard drives under the DiamondMax line.

Going forward, Seagate plans to differentiate the Seagate and Maxtor brands as much as possible, Jourlait noted. "We don't want a direct comparison between the lines that people can arbitrage," he said.

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