Thailand Floods Cause Storage Shortages
October 24, 2011 7:30 AM
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The battle against flooding in Thailand continues
Thailand continues to suffer from major flooding, which is having a major impact on the PC industry
PC sales are under continued pressure from a hard drive shortage caused by major flooding in Thailand, with one-fourth of the world's HDDs originating from the flood-ravaged nation.
The floods have shutdown more than 14,000 factories and forced at least 660,000 people out of work -- and has also severely damaged an already fragile global PC industry. Thailand remains the No. 2 maker of HDDs commonly used in PCs, notebooks and servers -- with hard drive manufacturers already suffering from lower demand for PCs and peripherals.
Both Western Digital and Seagate have warned of shortages because of supply issues, while Apple and other computer makers also confirm storage problems.
Earlier in the month, WD confirmed it was going to extend the suspension of Thai facility operations, due to manufacturing facilities being flooded. Even with manufacturing facilities still functional in the United States, Singapore and Malaysia, flooding "will have significant impact on the company's overall operations and its ability to meet customer demand" for the rest of 2011.
Even worse for WD, CEO John Coyne predicts a 60% quarter revenue decline from the same period last year, as the company looks to rebound as fast as possible.
Seagate's Thai production has not been hit as hard, but the US hard drive maker is expected to have a difficult time finding parts for its products.
Some companies are trying to shift manufacturing from Thailand to other facilities, and all of them must rebuild and assist their employees. Seyyon Semiconductor expects it to take at least one year for the Thai tech industry to fully recover, with the industry to remain volatile.
The Thai government has confirmed their efforts at draining floodwater has been more successful, while Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra warned residents to be prepared for increased flooding.
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10/24/2011 1:27:53 PM
Since this incident has pushed HDD prices up some 30 or 40%, I wonder if we will see greater adoption of SSDs by the likes of Dell, HP, Apple, ect.? I've read the impact of the flooding could last for 5 - 6 months.
This could become the cause of the biggest improvement in mainstream PCs/laptops in a long time.
10/24/2011 1:33:49 PM
Yep. Excellent time for SSD to grab market share.
10/24/2011 1:46:36 PM
It's still $180 for a cheaper 120GB SSD vs. $130-180 for a 2TB hard drive. So really not even getting close in a cost per GB perspective.
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