20 percent drop in shipments expected
flooding in Thailand has forced several hard drive manufacturers to halt production and makers of other components have also been affected.
Research outfit IDC believes the disruption will not have a major impact on PC shipments in 2011, with a drop of less than 10 percent up to, and including the holiday season. However, once inventories are depleted PC makers will run into more trouble.
IDC researchers reckon that the shortage will disrupt production in the first quarter of 2012 and as a result PC shipments could drop more than 20 percent over this period. Thailand accounted for about 45 percent of hard drive production in the first half of the year, but the flooding seems to have halved the country’s output.
Although IDC expects major vendors will be able to weather the storm and get priority shipments, they will also be affected, albeit to a lesser extent than small consumers. Basically enthusiasts who don’t tend to buy brand name computers will bear the burden of the shortage.
Worse, the peak of the shortage will coincide with the introduction of Intel’s Ivy Bridge chips and new 28nm graphics from both AMD and Nvidia. Consumers eager to upgrade their rigs will either have to pay a huge mark-up on hard drives, choose SSDs instead, or wait for a few months in the hope of saving some hard earned cash.