Thailand Floods, 2011: Full Impact On Hard Drive Industry Yet To Be Felt
Massive floods are currently inundating many of Thailand's industrial parks where hard drives are built. Analyst firm IHS iSuppli estimated about 25 percent of the world's hard drives are manufactured in Thailand. The flood is also disrupting the production of components, including electric motors and slider assemblies, needed to make the drives in other countries.
Western Digital has been forced to curtail its Thailand production and put both storage OEMs and reseller customers on allocation, while Seagate is seeing component constraints in its facilities in other countries.
The result is a shortage of hard drives leading to price spikes and supply allocation, especially for PC vendors who are more likely to see curtailed shipments than server or enterprise storage vendors.