PC shipments curbed by hard drive shortage after Thai floods

Flooding in Thailand will cause a global shortage of PCs due to slowed production of hard disk drives, according to IDC.

Flooding in Thailand threatens to reduce global PC shipments by a fifth due to slowed production of hard disk drives (HDD), according to IDC. 

Thailand has been hit by its worst flooding for decades. Over nine million people have been affected with almost 1000 manufacturing factories being forced to halt production. The country produces almost half (45%) of worldwide HDD supplies, by companies such as Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba. 

Analyst firm IDCis warning that hard disk drives will be in short supply in the first quarter of 2012, affecting worldwide PC shipments. The firm advises PC suppliers to prepare for “significant” HDD shortages starting this month increased costs for components and larger PC suppliers snatching enterprise accounts.

While the HDD shortage is expected to impact less than 10% of PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2011, John Rydning, research vice president of HDD and semiconductors for IDC, said: “In a worst-case scenario, total PC shipments could be depressed by more than 20% in the first quarter of 2012 verses previous forecasts as a result of the HDD shortage.”

Loren Loverde, program vice president for IDC worldwide consumer device trackers, added: “The HDD shortage will affect smaller PC vendors and lower priced products most, including netbooks, emerging markets and entry-level consumer PCs. However, even the largest vendors are expected to face HDD shortages, particularly for portable PCs where the market is more consolidated.”

HDD shortages are expected to continue into the first quarter of 2012.

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