Print 55 comment(s) - last by Mr Joshua.. on Jun 15 at 6:28 PM

prices will remain high until 2014 thanks to long-term agreements between computer makers and hard drive makers

The massive flooding in Thailand last year significantly affected the ability of several manufacturers to produce hard drives used for data storage in computers and other devices. The flooding meant that much of the production capacity was unavailable and led to shortages and increased prices for available hard drives.
According to iSuppli, the price of hard drives isn't expected to return to pre-flood levels until at least 2014. That means for more than a year, prices will be inflated due to shortages caused by the flooding. ISuppli reports that the average selling price for the entire hard drive market grew to $66 in Q4 2011, which is up 28% from $51 in the third quarter. The average selling price held steady at $66 in Q1 of 2012 and is expected to slide to $65 in Q2.
The flooding in Thailand led to a 29% reduction in the number of hard drives shipped in Q4 2012. That significant reduction in shipments is expected to end and production will be completely recovered by Q3 of 2012. The company reports that hard drive shipments increased by 18% to 145 million units in Q1 2012 and in Q2 increase by 10% to 159 million units.
ISuppli is predicting that shipments will increase again in Q3 2012 by another 10% to 176 million units. Q3 is expected to be the first quarter where shipments or exceed 2011 numbers. Despite the return to normal shipment levels, pricing is expected to remain flat with no decline.
“HDD manufacturers now have greater pricing power than they did in 2011, allowing them to keep ASPs steady,” said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. “With the two mega-mergers between Seagate/Samsung and Western Digital/Hitachi GST, the two top suppliers held 85 percent of HDD market share in the first quarter 2012. This was up from 62 percent in the third quarter of 2011, before the mergers. The concentration of market share has resulted in an oligarchy where the top players can control pricing and are able to keep ASPs at a relatively high level.”

One reason pricing won't decline is that a number of original equipment manufacturers in the computer industry signed a long-term agreements with hard drive makers to guarantee drive shipments but locking in prices about 20% higher than were paid before the flooding.

Source: iSuppli

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RE: Good times
By bug77 on 6/11/2012 10:38:38 AM , Rating: 2
How many average consumers do you think use more than 100GB of storage space?

Quite a lot, since a single game can use 20GB or more.
I still remember a funny story when SSDs were just making their appearance. One reviewer wanted to test Crysis loading times, only to discover Crysis and Vista did not within the 32GB of the SSD.

RE: Good times
By Brandon Hill on 6/11/2012 10:35:35 AM , Rating: 2
Average consumers still play hardcore PC games? PC games are being relegated to a niche it seems. Consoles are the mainstream game systems these days and what most developers target because that's where the $$$ is.

RE: Good times
By SlyNine on 6/11/2012 11:11:42 AM , Rating: 2
I'd say its a lot more then a niche. I know about 10 different people at work and friends that play PC games. Not facebook games but games like crysis.

RE: Good times
By bug77 on 6/11/2012 11:23:56 AM , Rating: 3
Going by that definition, average users don't need SSDs either as their needs are covered by a tablet these days. If space was so unnecessary, why make HDDs larger than 320GB? Nobody would buy them.

RE: Good times
By amanojaku on 6/11/2012 12:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think Brandon is saying large HDs are unnecessary. He's saying the typical user doesn't need a large HD. Gamers are not typical users. Video editors are not typical users. 3D animators are not typical users. File hoarders are not typical users.

I have Windows 7, MS Office 2007, and some utilities installed, for a grand total of 30GB. Four or five games would take up around 30GB. The 64GB SSD I have installed would be just enough.

Got data? You're not a typical user. Get a NAS and put some TB HDsin it!

RE: Good times
By StevoLincolnite on 6/11/2012 4:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
Got data? You're not a typical user. Get a NAS and put some TB HDsin it!

I know lots of people with a Terabyte+ drive full of pr0n...

RE: Good times
By mindless1 on 6/12/2012 9:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh, sure but once you put it like that, the typical user doesn't need a PC newer than about 7 years old either.

However you have it quite wrong about your SSD capacity. Having 60GB filled SSD with only 4GB free space causes a lot faster garbage and a lot more rewrites of available space. You'd be much better off with a 128GB SSD to hold 60GB total data.

However the "typical" user can be more advanced than many realize. Some may record video, others may collect MP3s, others may take 10MP pictures of their family all day long, constantly.

Some may be moving to a paperless office and scan high res everything. There are lots of ways to need more capacity than is reasonably affordable from an SSD, when you stop to consider the storage device could easily cost as much as the value of someone's entire computer...

"Average" people use PCs worth about $150 total, and only replace them when they break and (or malware causes...) cost of repair exceeds the value of the system.

RE: Good times
By MrBlastman on 6/11/2012 12:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care if it is a niche or not, I'm in it and I like it. :)

If developers were to stop making a great deal of "hardcore" titles for my "market," It wouldn't matter so much as most of the hardcore crowd just makes the game themselves (or mods it) if nobody else will make what they want.

Just look at Mechwarrior Living Legends... no Mechwarrior for YEARS, what do they do? Middle finger and make their own. Falcon BMS... no true hardcore dynamic campaign based simulator supporting cockpits and external displays, what do they do? They mod it themselves. There's plenty more examples but these two get the point across.

I believe that if kickstarter proves anything in the future, it will be that there is plenty of demand for certain types of gaming that have been written off by the suits for years, yet, somehow there still is a way to make money with them for the target audience. Kickstarter is a neat experiment for now but I think it might be a thorn in big business' side in the future. If all of a sudden the publishers find that designers don't need them... what are they going to do?

RE: Good times
By Solandri on 6/11/2012 12:26:15 PM , Rating: 3
PC games are being relegated to a niche it seems. Consoles are the mainstream game systems these days and what most developers target because that's where the $$$ is.

If you've been around a while, you've seen this cycle before. Hot new consoles come out and everyone talks about how PC games are being relegated to a niche. A few years later when the console GPU hardware is getting long in the tooth, everyone talks about the resurgence of PC gaming. Then the new consoles come out and the cycle repeats. Have you seen the demo videos coming out of E3? They're gorgeous, and they're all PC. The current gen consoles (which were fixed in stone two PC upgrades ago for me) just don't have the horsepower to render like that.

PCs will always have access to the latest GPU hardware and will thus always eclipse consoles on the gaming front a few years after a console is released. Unless they can get the time between new console versions down to 2-3 years, it's always going to be like this. And I doubt that will happen because then they'll have to deal with the other PC version problems like upgrades, compatibility, and user-swappable parts. At that point you might as well buy a PC.

RE: Good times
By Reclaimer77 on 6/11/2012 5:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah PC gamers are such a niche man.

*logs into Diablo 3 to join the other 60+ million "niche" players*


RE: Good times
By dark matter on 6/12/2012 5:05:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yes 60 million out of how many billions of PCs/Laptops/Netbooks?

Niche is relative.

RE: Good times
By One43637 on 6/12/2012 1:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in the minority here. I'm still playing PC games, even though I have a 360 and PS3. But then again, I also build my PCs instead of buying them.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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