The iPod's days as an in-car hard drive may be numbered.

Already hard drives feature in video recorders, music devices like the iPod, camcorders, mobile phones and satellite navigation tools, to name a few. This market is about to expand further, with car manufacturers building hard drives into their vehicles, according to Hitachi Europe director Stephen Pereira.

Pereira revealed that the first generation of cars with built-in hard drives will emerge in Europe in 2007. These cars will incorporate GPS sat-nav, store MP3s and videos. “They will become the main device for holding data in the car”, he explained.

Where this will leave the iPod, which is already being integrated into cars, remains to be seen.

By 2010 there will be as many hard drives in non-IT products as there are in PCs, added Pereira.