The European Union is notorious for being sticklers when it comes to how companies do business and is ever watchful for what it perceives to be a potential monopoly. Concerns aside, the EU just granted approval to Western Digital, the world's second largest hard drive maker, to purchase Hitachi's HDD business for $4.3 billion, with Hitach being the third biggest player in the HDD market.
Few companies in the PC industry can escape the resonating effects of the hard drive shortage caused by recent flooding in Thailand. It's had a bigger impact than simply doubling, and in some cases, tripling the cost of hard drives, the shortage also creates challenges for PC makers who buy HDDs in bulk and build systems around them. Making the best of a bad situation, Jon Bach, founder of Puget Systems, explains how his company plans to cope with an outside-the-box solution.
Hard drive maker Western Digital announced this morning that on November 18, 2011, an arbitration award of $525 million was rendered against the company by a sole arbitrator in a pending confidential arbitration action in Minnesota brought on by Seagate. Not included in that amount is prejudgement interest, which will be determined and tacked on at a later date.
Now is not the time to buy a mechanical hard drive, not unless you absolutely have to. As you know, the recent flooding in Thailand hit the hard drive industry pretty hard (from a technology standpoint -- obviously the biggest tragedy here is the impact it had on people's lives), and even just a 1TB hard drive is going to set you back about $150 street, almost triple what they selling for prior to the flood. Is the shortage really that bad?
The flooding in Thailand and subsequent hard drive shortage has been covered extensively here and elsewhere on the Web, and it's almost always bad news. However, Stealth Computer, makers of rugged PCs and peripherals, is promising continued on-time delivery no matter what the situation is overseas. What's more, Stealth Computer says it has absolutely no plans to jack up the price of any of its base systems.
You may have already noticed that the cost of hard drives has shot up since the severe flooding in Thailand. In addition to bringing devastation to the people and economy in that region, the flooding also disrupted operations at more than a dozen hard drive factories, resulting in "significant" damage. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), this will have a direct impact on worldwide PC shipments through at least the first half of 2012.
Woe is you if your hard drive gives up the ghost, and not just because of the hassle involved with restoring data from your backups (because you are backing up your files, right?). The other reason it sucks to lose a hard drive right now is because recent flooding in Thailand hit HDD makers pretty hard, resulting in a shortage, which itself has resulted in higher prices. Unfortantely, the trickle down effect doesn't stop there.
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.
Since time began, man has looked at four- and five-platter 3TB hard drives and dared to say, “That’s cool, but when will we get hard drives with one terabyte per platter?” Man is impossible to please. Nevertheless, drive makers have cracked the 1TB-per-platter limit, and this year we’ll see 4- and 5TB drives, and even one-platter 1TB drives. The first 1TB/platter drive to cross our bench, though, is Seagate’s new 3TB Barracuda.
Increased areal density allows for faster read and write speeds, which should mean a faster drive. Does it?
Seagate's restructuring its hard drive lineup in an attempt to streamline its selection and make it easier to shop for storage. It starts with the introduction of a new 1TB-per-platter hard drive simply called Barracuda, which for the time being will replace all three hard drive lines. Seagate will end production of its Barracuda Green drive in February 2012, and in the short term, the high end Barracuda XT line is being folded into the new Barracuda family.