Dell Refutes High SSD Failure Claims

You know a report is controversial when fierce rivals line
up on the same side. Research firm Avian Securities claimed in a report earlier
this week that Dell may be seeing a 20 to 30 percent return rate on its systems
with a Solid State Drives (SSD), ie., the drives based on flash memory.

That seems rather remarkable, as one of the claims from SSD
proponents is that they have a longer lifespan since there is no spinning
hardware and a lot less heat is generated. It prompted Dell’s Chief Blogger
(they have such a person??) Lionel Menchaca to post a vehement denial, which
said in part:

Our global reliability data shows that SSD drives are equal
to or better than traditional hard disk drives we’ve shipped. Beyond that,
return rates for SSDs are in line with our expectations for new technology and
an order of magnitude better than rates reported in the press.

SSD drives are still relatively new to the market so there
isn’t a lot of data available yet, which doesn’t help make Menchaca’s argument.
However, you know it must be a serious issue when a major competitor takes your
side. Matt Kohut, worldwide competitive analyst for Lenovo issued his own blog

I’m not one to defend a competitor here, but I highly doubt
that any Tier One vendor is seeing SSD hard disk drives being returned at a 10
percent rate. The article circling the Internet is fear mongering meant to
drive readership. On the other hand I do doubt that return rates are as low as
traditional hard disk drives though.

A Dell spokesperson told me that Dell sales haven’t been hut
by the comments but they wanted to get a response out as soon as possible.
Avian never contacted Dell in regard to its note, but Dell added “There’s
just no way those numbers could ever be accurate.”

Avian was unavailable for comment at press time and the
mailbox was full, perhaps it had closed early due to Good Friday.

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