By 14 May 2019 | Categories: news


Western Digital is back. That was the subtext of a media event held today in MonteCasino, Fourways. While the company has been around, it’s been largely quiet for the last two years.

That looks set to charge, as the company both reaffirmed its presence locally, and detailed its extensive range of storage products, a variety of markets and answered a few questions about the relevance of storage in 2019. So how important are storage products? Very, according to Ghassan Azzi,  the senior sales manager for Western Digital Africa, who explained that smartphone growth, along with social media are driving the growth in content. Indeed the stats are staggering.

1.7 trillion mobile photos are taken every year, and 60 million images are uploaded per day to Instagram. That is dwarfed by the 300 hours of videos uploaded to YouTube, not per day or even per hour, but per minute.

“The amount of data that people generate is growing exponentially year on year, highlighting a shift in storage habits that is currently underway not just globally but also locally,” he explained.

Azzi continued that storing data is not just about unlimited space, but it is also about security.

Ghassan Azzi, senior sales manager for Western Digital Africa

With all this data being generated, you would think that backing up to some form of storage would be top of mind. Not so. Azzi pointed out that 60 million computers worldwide will fail during the course of this year, while one in ten computers will fall prey to a computer virus on a monthly basis. Despite this, according to Western Digital’s research, only a quarter (one in four) users make regular backups of their data.

It is with this in mind that Western Digital is offering, according to Azzi, “secure, high-performance, high-capacity and high-quality storage solutions to cater to the growing needs and lifestyles of consumers in South Africa”.   

Whenever the topic of storage is brought up, the cloud is not far behind. Answering a question related to how relevant external storage solutions are in a cloud-era, Brad Bennet, the regional marketing manager for Western Digital Africa and Middle East, explained that in fact cloud storage and external storage solutions can, and do, co-exist.

“Those using cloud storage are putting their data on a hard drive before uploading it to the cloud,” he elaborated. As well, the company has its own personal cloud storage solution, called the MyCloud.

Bennet also asserted that even as solid state drives are increasingly attractive to consumers, spinning hard drives would “never disappear”, and thus the company is still releasing, and expanding the storage capacity, of such drives.     

As to what South African users can expect to be able to buy, the company’s range is extensive and exhaustive, with a range of products for mobile users, general PC/notebook owners, gaming enthusiasts and businesses.

Brad Bennet, the regional marketing manager for Western Digital Africa and Middle East and Ghassan Azzi, senior sales manager for Western Digital Africa

The full list of available products is as follows:

SanDisk Mobile Storage Solutions

iXpand – The iXpand flash drive is the ideal companion for your iPhone or iPad that enables you to free up space, back up your camera roll and even watch videos straight from the drive. The iXpand flash drives are equipped with a Lightning connector and a USB 3.0 connector so users can move files between iPhone, iPad, and Mac or PC computers. Users can also set the iXpand mobile app to automatically back up their iPhone or iPad camera roll anytime the product is connected. It comes in 32|64|128|256 GB capacities.

Dual Drive – The SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive m3.0 is for Android devices and enables the movement of content from your OTG-enabled Android smartphones to your computer. Quickly free up space on your Android smartphone or tablet so you can take more pictures and videos. It comes in 16 |32|64|128|256 GB capacities.

400GB micro SD card – The SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card is perfect for recording and watching Full HD video, with room for hours of video. Ideal for Android based smartphones and tablets, this card’s A1 rating means that you can load apps faster too. This card racks up transfer speeds of 100MB/s and can move 1 200 photos per minute. With a capacity of up to 400GB, you can store even more hours of Full HD video on the card without worrying about running out of room for the videos, photos, music, movies and other files you want to shoot, save and share.

SanDisk external SSDs

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD – This ruggedized portable SSD delivers high-speed transfers of up to 550MB/s making it well suited for saving and editing hi-res photos and videos. With an IP55 rating and a solid-state core, it also stands up to rain, spills, dust and drops. It comes in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB capacities.

WD Internal SSDs

WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD

 The WD BLACK SN750 NVMe SSD delivers top-tier performance for gaming and hardware enthusiasts who are looking to build or upgrade their PC. The WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD rivals some of the best performing drives on the market to help give gamers that competitive edge.

Product Highlights

·       Revolutionary 64-layer 3D NAND Technology.

·       Read speeds up to 3470 MB/s (500GB and 1TB models) for improved load times

·       A sleek design to customize your gaming rig

·       An exclusive WD Black SSD dashboard with gaming mode

WD Green SSD

The WD Green SSDs are meant for a quintessential level of performance. These can be best suited for day to day functionality and can reach read and write speeds of up to 540 MB per sec and 405 MB per sec respectively while using ultra-low power draw mode.

 WD Blue SSD – It is the best option for those who are looking for a performance that excels in SATA standards and reaches read and write speeds of up to 545 MB per sec and 525 MB per sec respectively.

Beyond Surveillance

12TB WD Purple Hard Drive

WD Purple drives have been engineered specifically for the extreme demands of high temperature, 24/7 surveillance systems. With a supported workload rate of up to 180 TB/yr8 and support for up to 64 cameras, WD Purple drives are optimized for surveillance systems. It is engineered for quality video playback when you need it most.

256GB WD Purple microSD Card

WD Purple microSD cards range from 32GB to 256GB for both motion-triggered and continuous recording, as well as a variety of camera, resolution, and recording implementations. Weather-resistant WD Purple microSD cards endure temperatures from -25°C to 85°C to help capture uninterrupted surveillance footage through extreme weather conditions and climates.

14TB Ultrastar Hard Drive

This has up to 14TB capacity in a standard 3.5-inch form factor. Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) technology works seamlessly in capacity enterprise environments.

WD external SSDs

 My Passport Wireless SSD: The My Passport Wireless SSD is an all in one portable drive that helps preserve photos and videos captured on your cameras and drones. The one touch copy button lets you back up photos and videos with the built in SD card reader without a laptop. It comes in 250 GB|500 GB|1 TB|2 TB capacities.

My Passport SSD: The My Passport SSD is portable storage with blazing-fast transfers. Password protection with hardware encryption helps keep your content secure. Easy to use, it’s shock-resistant, compact storage in a cool, durable design. It comes in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities.

WD hard drives

My Passport - My Passport portable drive is trusted to store the massive amounts of photos, videos and music you love. Available in an array of vibrant, fun colours, the sleek style fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, so you can easily take your treasured content everywhere you go. It comes in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB capacities.

WD internal hard drive

WD Purple – WD Purple drives have been engineered specifically for the extreme demands of high temperature, 24/7 surveillance systems. Built for 24/7, always-on, high-definition security systems. With a supported workload rate of up to 180 TB/yr7 and support for up to 64 cameras, WD Purple drives are optimized for surveillance systems.

 WD Red - With drives up to 10TB, WD Red drives offer a wide array of solutions for customers looking to build a high performing NAS storage solution. Built for single-bay to 8-bay NAS systems, WD Red drives pack the power to store your precious data in one powerhouse unit.

WD Blue - Boost your PC storage with WD Blue drives, the brand designed just for desktop and all-in-one PCs with a variety of storage capacities.

Mobile SSD

G-DRIVE mobile SSD

The ruggedized G-DRIVE mobile SSD features transfer speeds up to 560MB/s and a backwards compatible USB-C port to deliver high-performance storage.


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