back to article Massive PC shortages to hit this Xmas

PC shortages will likely dampen retail sales this Christmas as a result of the shortfall in hard drive production caused by killer flooding in Thailand. Analysts claimed this week that 48 million fewer disks will be shipped this quarter, but had reckoned the PC supply chain has sufficient stocks to see it through to next year …


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  1. terry 1


    Anyone who's buying in Xmas stock will have already got what they need before the prices go up anyway, we never buy hardware in December and only some in November.

    Plus I don't think that the UK was going to be buying 48 million PCs.

    Our suppliers are holding several thousand of each make and model. So I suspect there are box shifters who need to make a bit of a push to get rid and what a better way to suggest a shortage to induce a little panic buying.

  2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

    Hard Drives more important than people

    What is the world coming to? More news about the shortage of hard drives than the actual floods itself.

    "The flooding in Thailand wrecked WD's in-country production lines, inundated Toshiba's drive plant and ruined Seagate's sub assembly market. It also killed scores of people and left hundreds of thousands of others out of work."

    1. Nigel 11

      Silly comment

      Of course it's just one consequence of a major natural disaster. So? This is a technology site not a general newspaper. Give us credit for being able to supply our own context without needing more than a one-sentence reminder.

      We might do better to express a strong desire that Seagate and WDC don't rebuild elsewhere and leave their Thai employees out of a job after the floods recede.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The issue here is that the deaths of hundreds of people or the suffering of thousands is far enough not to touch me personally, the fact though that i need to add a couple of hard drives to my NAS pretty soon is very real and does affect me on a personal level.

      And to directly answer your question, sure that's how the world is, why don't you volunteer to help make it better?

      1. Goat Jam

        Oblig Stalin Quote

        The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of thousands a statistic.

        Or something like that

  3. Jess

    big deal.

    Just ship them with a lower price tag a drive bay and an OS install/upgrade disk and let people use their old drive.

  4. Rob Dobs

    Hope you bought any HD you needed already

    I wonder if this will set back any other industries that depend heavily on Large TB of data being available (Video editing, Storage arrays etc) There are a lot industries and markets that depend on these drives, and I am sure some people who saw this coming already started to stockpile and buy up available supply, making another doubling of prices an almost sure thing.

  5. Annihilator Silver badge

    PC World

    Happened to be in a PC World today, and they have a sign up limiting HD purchases to 2 per customer due to the flooding.

    That's 2 more than I'd ever buy in there, but ho-hum...

  6. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Blame the accountants

    They are the ones who claim that just in time is the way to go... they forget things like this, unexpected demand (as with the Tracey Islands a few years back) and similar mean massive lost opportunities. Wouldn't it be nice to be the only PC manufacturer with enough stocks of drives to fill the shelves in December?

  7. ElNumbre

    Massive PC's

    Who whats a massive PC these days? I thought it was all smartphones, netbooks and tablets.

    What about little ITX type PC's - are they affected?

  8. Craig Vaughton

    No hard drives..

    Maybe time to buy something without a HDD?

    MacBook Air anyone?

  9. Doug Glass


    PCs are going the way of the DoDo bird in favor of mobile devices ... or so I read everywhere it seems. How can this be happening? Who's BSing who? Or is that "whom"?

    1. Ammaross Danan

      Thin Computing

      In case you missed it, mobile toys such as an iPhone or a tablet have to draw their content from somewhere. And since iTunes isn't hosted on a iPhone5 and websites aren't hosted on the CEO's tablet, there has to be disk storage somewhere. And no, Netflix doesn't host their streaming media on RAIDed Android media players.

    2. Rob Dobs

      ever hear of video games

      PC games still beat all the consoles boxes pants off. Battlefield 3 sold 10's of millions of copies already, (a large portion on PC) and no you can"t play it on an iphone. Anyone who enjoys gaming with HD quality video (there are 10's of millions of us stil) is going to keep upgrading their PC, at least every view years. There are also tons of other uses that you are forgetting. I can use my PC to store and view TB of videos from any other PC or screen in the house. Home Security cameras can be hooked up to a PC and you can store months of surveillance footage, and even check in on your house/dog/kids remotely from work, you can create and mix music, and even write articles, stories etc (with full keyboard) all stuff you can't really do on a cheap tiny screened mobile device.

      Don't believe the same BS story that detractors have been pushing for years.... every F*&king year I hear it a dozen times..."blah blah PC's are dead blah" but amazingly every single year since they started being sold MORE PC's are sold every year than the last one, even despite economic downturns. Sure on bad years the market only rises by say a fraction of a percent instead of several, and some counties with really bad economies might see a dip in purchases, but worldwide, PC makers are always making more PC's with and there is NO EVIDENCE to any end of this in sight. Sure as Laptop prices drop, and their screens get better you may see some PC's switch over. Tablets and phones will not replace PC's. And more likely than that, I would wager that the trend will be that people over the next decade will just start to have a PC AND a laptop/tablet. PC's will die when video games and Porn die, and both of them (like PC's just seem to expand EVERY year.

  10. Preston Crow

    Memory prices to drop

    One thing that will be interesting are the secondary impacts of the drive shortage. As PC sales drop due to shortages or increased prices for hard drives, we can expect a surplus of other components. For non-comodities, such as CPUs, this will have little impact on the price, but for memory, this could drive the price down.

    I doubt that memory makers are flexible enough to shift production over to flash fast enough to take advantage of the increased demand for alternatives to hard drives and at the same time avoid a glut in the DRAM market.

    1. Ammaross Danan


      RAM has already taken a nose-dive well before the hard drive floods. However, I'm hoping this will cause a slump in demand when Ivy Bridge comes out. You can still upgrade your mobo/CPU/RAM without having to get a new HDD (or SSD for the new system in this case...)

  11. Mikel

    Rise of the tablet

    We all wanted Android tablets or iPads anyway. That Transformer Prime is looking pretty awesome. Kindle Fire too. No tears from here. This could not happen at a better time.

  12. Gene Cash Silver badge

    All the eggs in one basket

    I'm just still shocked that apparently all of the capacity was in one damned plant/city, for huge multinational corporations like WD, Toshiba, and Seagate.

    Is there no second-sources for contracts with non-performance clauses that say things like "you owe us $billions if we don't have X drives by Y time" ??

  13. b166er

    All those disk fabs/data in one location/array?

    Maybe they should have thought through their redundant options a little further.

    Perhaps CoLo in, let's say the UK, which doesn't suffer from the wrath of mother nature.

    But of course, it's 'cheaper' to put them all in one Thai basket.

    As the Japanese have also learned, let's do things well above the waterline.

  14. Mips

    Globalisation kills Santa!

    That's the way it is!

  15. Mips

    Globalisation kills Santa !

    That's the way it is!

  16. Goat Jam

    The Bell

    has been tolling for the hard drive industry and we all thought it would be SSDs that would wipe it out.!

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