Seagate announced a longer, five-year warranty on certain products, a move that could prompt an industrywide change in warranty policy. Seagate hard drives shipped through distributors and retailers now carry a five-year warranty, up from its former one-year coverage. Seagate new warranty applies retroactively to hard drives shipped through its distribution and retail channels worldwide since June 1. Seagate claims that “reliability and quality leadership” are synonymous with its name. The company over the years has invested in so-called “six-sigma” processes intended to improve design and quality. It has also upgraded manufacturing lines to increase the level of robotics for greater speed and precision. The new policy should lead to higher costs for Seagate, in part through the need to maintain higher inventory levels for replacements. Still, Seagate’s rivals could make out worse.

Seagate announced a longer, five-year warranty on certain products, a move that could prompt an industrywide change in warranty policy. Seagate hard drives shipped through distributors and retailers now carry a five-year warranty, up from its former one-year coverage. Seagate new warranty applies retroactively to hard drives shipped through its distribution and retail channels worldwide since June 1. Seagate claims that “reliability and quality leadership” are synonymous with its name. The company over the years has invested in so-called “six-sigma” processes intended to improve design and quality. It has also upgraded manufacturing lines to increase the level of robotics for greater speed and precision. The new policy should lead to higher costs for Seagate, in part through the need to maintain higher inventory levels for replacements. Still, Seagate’s rivals could make out worse.