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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Zip's Market Dominance Not Threatened, Says Pres. of Iomega Japan
  • October 1, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Yoshio Aoki assumed the post of president of Iomega Japan (which sells the Zip storage device), in July, and he said that the market dominance of the Zip drive is not threatened.
    Nikkei Personal Computing interviewed Aoki on his career path change and the scope of a standards battle over next-generation disks.

    Aoki had formerly managed the introduction of HiFD, a floppy disk product with a memory capacity of 200MB, at Sony Corp.

    Nikkei Personal Computing: What gave you the idea of changing paths in your career?

    Aoki: Because I worked for a long time in the United States, I wanted to try my business skills with a different company if I found an appropriate opportunity.

    I received an offer from Iomega Corp. in late 1997. Iomega has a strong market presence and clear strategies, and I decided to join it. Now, I'm in an opposite position from the one at Sony.

    Nikkei Personal Computing: Including HiFD, which is scheduled to be marketed later this year, what's in store for the diskette market in the coming generations of technology?

    Aoki: The Zip drive will remain in its dominant position. Iomega has already shipped 15 million units of Zip drives and 150 million media disks, and we dominate the market for external disk drives.

    We place little importance on the weak point of Zip; that it isn't compatible with standard floppy disks. That's because users do not utilize floppy disks so often, and the build-to-order mechanism is prevailing, thereby giving users a full range of choices at the time of purchase.

    Although Sony's HiFD product has excellent specifications, it is at a disadvantage as a latecomer relative to the Zip drive.

    Because Iomega has been placing a priority on the U.S. market, we have not developed a system to fully implement appropriate sales and support services in the Japanese market. We plan to concentrate much of our efforts on such a strategy.

    (Nikkei Personal Computing)

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    Updated: Wed Sep 30 16:49:22 1998 PDT