iPods may soon shrink slightly in size, with news that Toshiba has managed to make 1.8-inch drives a little smaller.

The move reflects industry-watchers doubts that new generation music players can be marketed solely on higher-capacities - portability and weight are emerging as equal considerations for future generations of such devices.

Toshiba's Storage Device division has revised its current range of 1.8-inch hard drives into a new, smaller form factor.

The new casing is available in 60GB, 40GB, 30GB and 20GB capacities. The 30GB and 20GB models will be 5mm in height and weigh 48g; while the 40GB and 60GB models will be just 8mm and weigh 59g.

Tiny, tiny, tiny drives forever

"Our new drives have been designed to fulfil specific customer requirements for high performance drive technology in a smaller form factor to our current drives," explained Nick Spittle, product development manager, Toshiba Europe Storage Device Division.

"The new form factor compliments our current line up of 1.8-inch drives whilst helping our customers deliver innovation, in terms of size and performance, for next generation feature reach devices."

The company recently announced that it has produced over 14 million 1.8-inch hard disk drives.

In related news, Toshiba last year confirmed its plans to develop so-called perpendicular drive technology that could allow it to produce 1.8-inch drives with capacities exceeding 80GB, which it then suggested would be available mid-way through this year.