The floods in Thailand have been horrific for the locals, but the effect felt strongest by technologists is the continuous rise in the price of hard drives. But when will it end? KitGuru has been speaking with the UK channel and we've heard a shocking truth.
Once a country like Thailand decides that it wants a chunk of the 21st century technology business, things are made very attractive.
Western Digital, alongside rivals like Seagate, would have been wined and dined like there was no tomorrow until, finally, agreeing that Thailand had the logistics, workforce and determination to build some of the world's most advanced hard drive manufacturing plants.
Then, as with Japan and the tsunami, mother nature comes along to put life and livelihood at risk on a scale never before seen.
So how long with the hard drive tremours continue? For how long will the market suffer hugely overblown pricing on this most essential of data strorage commodities?
KitGuru has been in contact with senior officials from some of the channel's leading players and the answer is a devastating 9 months.
From the time that the first floods hit production, to the time when hard drive prices will return to the sort of levels we had in September 2011, will be a lengthy 9 months.
Around the start of summer 2012, we will finally see the channel price for a 1TB drive settle back down around the £25 mark.
In the meantime, while PC manufacturers are suffering – other parts of the channel will see revenues destroyed by the fall off in supply.
Why the different impact for different markets? Well, there are assembly plants in the world (Shenzhen comes to mind) where hard drive manufacturing exists on the same technology park where the final sysems themselves are assembled. For example Great Wall who do Acer, Gateway and Packard Bell net/notebook assembly.
While, at the same time, if you are supplying complete/external hard drives to UK stores like Tesco, then you – as a distributor – are pretty much screwed.
KitGuru says: It will be interesting to see what happens with companies like Argos, who print 6 month catalogues by the million. Right now, they will have gone to bed with Xmas/New Year catalogues that are loaded with hard drives, that simply do not exist. Tough times indeed.
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