It's the end of the line for one of the frontrunners in the solid-state drive revolution: Toshiba is buying OCZ's SSD assets for the bargain bin price of $35 million, mere days after OCZ declared bankruptcy last Friday.
That figure is for the whole kit and caboodle, too: Toshiba's snapping up every inch of OCZ's SSD assets, from its enterprise arm to its consumer business to its brand and sales channels. Toshiba is giving OCZ funding to keep the company afloat until the sale is completed, which is expected to take about two months.
The press release made no mention of OCZ's power supply business or cooling technology, leaving those lines in limbo.
The press release says that "OCZ will continue to operate and serve existing and future customers during this process." Given OCZ's reputation for poor drive reliability--which is no doubt part of the reason the company's on the block to begin with--it's hard to imagine Toshiba selling SSDs under the OCZ banner once the sale is complete unless it invests some serious cash in rebuilding the brand.
The one-two punch of low drive reliability and OCZ's sale leaves current OCZ owners in a bit of a pickle, as it remains to be seen whether or not Toshiba will honor the warranties on previously sold OCZ SSDs. Toshiba's buying OCZ's SSDA assets, not the company itself, leaving warranty statuses up in the air--though OCZ executive vice president Alex Mei told Legit Reviews post-bankruptcy that the company hoped to keep customer warranties intact.
Wishes and reality don't always jive, however. As with the OCZ name itself, Toshiba might balk at taking on OCZ's warranties given OCZ's poor reputation for reliability. (Heck, especially given OCZ's poor reputation for reliability.) OCZ told AnandTech that "warranties will be honored and their support status will remain unchanged" but didn't specify whether or not that only applied during the 60-day acquisition period, or extended into Toshiba's ownership.
We'll have to wait and see what Toshiba plans to do--or not do--with OCZ's warranties. But look on the bright side: If Toshiba decides to pass on continuing customer support, you'll probably be able to grab OCZ SSDs dirt-cheap.
This story, "Toshiba Buys OCZ's Belly-Up SSD Business: Where Does That Leave Your Warranty?" was originally published by PCWorld.