There has been another development in our ongoing coverage regarding how the flooding in Thailand has been affecting the hard drive industry. With the waters receding and the supply chains starting to open back up, the prices on drives have started to level off. We were expecting them to return to pre-flood pricing somewhere around the middle of 2012.
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Three weeks ago, I thought the Thailand/hard drive situation was bad and had worst-case scenarios in consideration. A week later and the worst of the worst-case didn’t line up with what was becoming reality. It seems like there may be some improvement in drive supply by mid-December, but it’s still disastrous and supplies are not likely to return to previous “normal” levels for many months—possibly even as long as a year.
For those who haven’t been following our coverage of the problem, here it is in a nut shell.
First, Western Digital’s main production complex in Thailand (one that produces about 60% of WD’s output and roughly 18% of the overall world drive supply) was first inaccessible, then literally under water from the flooding. Adding to the problem, there are also many drive sub-component manufacturers also impacted by the flooding; the one most critical to the hard drive industry would be be Nidec. Article Continues…
Let’s face it: the recent flooding situation in Thailand and the imminent hard drive shortage has many of us concerned, as approximately 40-50% of the world’s hard disk drives are manufactured in the affected areas. With production halted, suppliers and customers alike are worried about the impact this may have on hard drive availability, not to mention the looming price increases on currently available units.
While damage assessments from these major memory component manufacturers in Thailand are trickling in, several plants still remain submerged from the floods and photos capture the still “soggy” situation for Nikon’s factories, as crews work fervently to pump out the excess water from the area with generators. Aerial footage also demonstrates the severity of the situation and the long clean-up ahead:
A Simple Solution
Last week we discussed how to make the most of what you have by utilizing older, possibly forgotten, hard disk drive solutions to store your files now and in the future if you need to do so. If you’re using the Newer Technology Voyager or USB Universal Drive Adapter, a cool accessory like NewerTech’s StoraDrive is a simple way for keeping those drives organized for such future uses. After all, in light of recent events, you can never be too prepared…
The Mayans may have been wrong… We’ve got massive flooding in Thailand causing a world-wide hard drive shortage, asteroids are on the way, Internet Explorer is no longer on top of the web browser food-chain, dinosaurs will soon be roaming the earth while the Mac Pro goes extinct, people are talking to their phones now, the Mac platform is becoming more susceptible to viruses, there are dogs and cats, living together – it’s mass hysteria! Is November 2011 the end of what we know?
OWC Radio is a monthly, forum-based podcast focused on the events and happenings in the Mac community. This week’s hosts are: OWC Grant, OWC Chris S., and OWC Mike H.