Fujitsu is considering entering the market for small size hard-disk drives.

Such drives are typically used in portable digital devices such as music players. The sector has become one of the most competitive parts of the hard-disk market because of the popularity of devices like Apple's iPod.

No decision has yet been made, but the matter is under consideration, said Scott Ikeda, a spokesman for the company. His comments follow a report in the Tuesday morning edition of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun business newspaper that Fujitsu plans to enter the market this year.

Fujitsu currently makes 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives for server computers.

Drives with 1-inch or 1.8-inch diameter platters are finding favour in portable digital entertainment devices including music and movie players. Apple's iPod uses a 1.8-inch drive while its iPod Mini uses a 1-inch drive. The 1.8-inch drives are also used in some notebook computers.

January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) provided some indicators of the competition in the 1-inch drive market, when Seagate Technologies Inc. announced plans to expand its 1-inch drive production to Compact Flash form-factor models aimed at end users.

At the same event Cornice Inc. and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) announced plans for more capacious versions of their drives. Cornice said it will offer a 3GB drive early this year and HGST said it will offer drives with between 8GB and 10GB of storage space in the second half of this year.