Sales of hard-disk drive (HDD) heads – such as those used in the Apple iPod – are stronger than expected this year, says Japan's TDK Corp.

However, TDK President Hajime Sawabe told Reuters: "In value terms, HDD head sales have been roughly flat from a year earlier since the start of the business year in April, compared with our forecast of a five per cent decline."

Sawabe added: "TDK aims to raise its share of the global HDD head market to 31 to 32 per cent in the business year starting next April from an estimated 30 per cent this year."

The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association expects the global demand for 2.5-inch or smaller HDDs to increase 126 per cent to 111.2 million units in 2006.