Flash drives, which unlike traditional hard drives do not have any moving parts, will be common in notebooks bought during 2009 and account for 15 percent of that market by 2011.
Solid-state drives (SSDs) -- hard drives based on non-volatile flash memory, rather than moving parts -- will have a 15 percent share of the notebook market by 2011, according to Jack Gold, proprietor of US-based analyst firm J Gold Associates.
SSDs are a relatively new technology and still command a significant premium over the cost of a traditional hard drive. However, they are faster, of higher capacity, better for battery life and far more resistant to shock than traditional drives.
"By 2009/10, we believe the premium for SSDs will be under US$200 per machine," Gold said. "Given total cost-of-ownership savings of US$50 per machine and the additional potential benefits, we believe many companies will deploy SSDs within this time frame. Therefore, we believe most enterprises should plan on deploying SSDs to their mobile workforce, at least in higher-end machines, in the 2009/10 time frame."
Gold's report also predicts that a decline in the price of SSDs over the next two years will result from the emergence of "many additional suppliers" of the technology.
SSDs are currently supplied by companies such as SanDisk and Samsung, which both have 32GB models. The premium that SSD technology commands is demonstrated by the fact that Samsung's 32GB SDD costs 350 pounds, while a standard 100GB hard drive costs just 65 pounds.
David Meyer reported for ZDNet UK from London