SmartDisk will not be withdrawing from the Mac market, the company claims.

Responding to industry rumours, SmartDisk UK's managing director Grant Morgan said: "We are definitely not pulling out of the Mac market.

"In fact, we are putting more resources and investment into the VST range of products than ever, and have an aggressive plan to ramp-up sales in Europe."

SmartDisk develops and manufactures a range of products designed to complement the Mac as a digital hub. Its products include the FlashPath floppy-disk adaptor for Flash memory cards, the VST USB floppy drive, and a number of USB and FireWire storage systems.

Price cuts As part of its plans to generate sales, VST recently slashed its product prices worldwide. An industry insider saw the move as a prelude to the company pulling out of the market – a chance to cut its losses.

Many point to SmartDisk's five concurrent unsuccessful quarters – and the almost 100 per cent decline in its share value – as symptoms of corporate ill-health. It ran at a net operating loss of $8,381,000 in the quarter ended March 31, 2001

The management report attached to its last financial statement reads: "In light of our loss history we cannot assure you that we will be profitable in the future."

Since inception, the company has only held two profitable quarters. Investors include Apple, Hitachi, NEC, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba.

Last week, SmartDisk announced plans to relocate its Boston operations to its Florida headquarters. A source told Macworld: "Almost all their upper management has left Boston now." The source also asserted that this was a sign of the company closing its doors to the Mac.

Morgan strenuously denies this: "I think that perhaps this was assumed as an indication of our withdrawal. In actuality, it will result in greater levels of R+D, sales, marketing, logistics and technical support for the VST range."

"VST is bigger than ever and we are planning some new product releases soon. We have no plans to quit the Macintosh market."