Flooding in Thailand could see hard drive prices skyrocket

first_imgAs much as our world is dependent on computers of various sizes and form factors, sometimes the original “computer” of mother nature can conflict with our modern lifestyle in unexpected ways. It turns out that some serious flooding in Thailand of late is seriously effecting worldwide hard drive supplies. As Thailand is a significant center for hard drive manufacturing, this has already put some strain on supplies, and production has already been lowered by 25 percent.The flooding, which has been centered around the Bangkok area of Thailand, has already shut down several notable hard disk manufacturing plants. Toshiba, who makes about ten percent of all hard drives, has been operating at half capacity due to the flooding. Even more significant is the plant owned by Western Digital, which is one of the largest hard drive manufacturers in the world. The company produces 30 percent of the world’s hard drives, so when their two most prominent plants (which combine to make 60 percent of their hard drives) are shut down, alarm bells start ringing.The plants have been shut down for several days already, and are expected to be closed for at least a few more. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that this will all be cleared up within the next week, as the flooding isn’t expected to subside anytime soon.To make matters worse, key component manufacturers have also been hit by the flooding. A company called Nidec, who supplies the majority of worldwide hard drive motors, has been forced to cut 30 percent of its production. Another supplier of drive suspension assemblies, Hutchinson Technologies, has temporarily shut down operations in Thailand and is shifting production to its US plants.What does this mean for us, the consumers? It’s hard to say at this point, but none of this has yet led to higher hard drive pricing. It turns out that hard drive demand isn’t exactly at an all-time high, so dwindling supplies aren’t necessarily going to translate to the cash register. Still, if something hard drive-related is in your future, you may want to look sooner rather than later. The strain has managed to remain behind the scenes so far, but if these floods continue, we could potentially be looking at a new premium on hard drives and the devices that use them.via InfoWorldlast_img read more