It seems like every time we touch on the topic of hard drives lately, it's always bad news related to the recent flooding in Thailand. Ready for a change of pace? Good, because that's what you're getting today. Instead of news of more shortages and rising prices, we've now learned that hard drive volumes in the first quarter of 2012 will increase by several million units, decreasing the supply gap "significantly."
DigiTimes expects hard drive shipments to jump from 110-120 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 140 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a difference of up to 30 million units. If that's the case, it will reduce the gaping supply gap from 30-35 percent currently to around 18 percent in Q1 2011, as HDD demand is hanging around 170 million units.
Western Digital last week said it made "substantial progress" in restoring hard drive operations in Thailand by removing submerged equipment from certain facilities and beginning the process of decontaminating and restoring its buildings. WD even started producing HDDs at one of its facilities that was previously shut down due to the floods.