Report: HDD Shortages Could Lead To PC Shortages This Holiday Season

Brad Chacos

The major hard disk drive manufacturers have already admitted that the massive flooding in Thailand will put a severe crimp in HDD prices and availability for the foreseeable future. (A lot of major HDD factories reside in Thailand, you see.) In fact, HDD prices have already begun to climb at many major online retailers. But could the fallout be even more widespread? A new report says that the lack of HDDs could cause as overall PC shortage this holiday season, as OEMs who plow through their existing HDD inventory won’t be able to replace the components.

Asus has already owned up to the fact that they only have enough HDDs on hand to meet production demands until the end of November; now, The Register is reporting that honchos at Sony and Acer have confirmed that they, too, expect there to be shortages and difficulties across the board heading into the rest of the year. An anonymous distribution source told the publication that some manufacturers “could have a 20 per cent to 30 per cent volume shortfall in the consumer space.”

The New York Times reports that HDD issues could have a major effect on cloud storage services such as the ones offered by Amazon, Apple and Google, as well. “By the first quarter of next year, all worldwide inventories of hard drives will be sucked dry,” James Monroe, research VP at Gartner, told the publicatio n. “This is a crisis of escalating dimension for many I.T. revenue streams.” The Times says that websites that store lots of data, such as Facebook, may also be hurt by the HDD shortage. Interestingly, this article says that PC shortages shouldn't hit consumers until next year.

Things aren’t going to get brighter anytime soon, either; Q1 of 2012 is expected to be even rougher than Q4 of this year. On the plus side, maybe we’ll start to see more adoption of speedy SSDs in the mainstream market. Any comments?

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