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.
As hard drive component suppliers struggle to recover from recent flooding in Thailand, Acer revealed during an investor conference that it has no choice but to charge more for its products. Acer sees little to no alternatives when the cost of hard disk drives spikes by as much as 20 percent, costs that are ultimately passed on to the consumer.
We’ve been keeping you up to date on the effects of the Thailand floods on the hard drive market as we’ve received news of the situation: both Western Digital and Seagate, the world’s largest suppliers of HDDs, have been forced to halt or cut back on production as the waters rose around their factories. HDD prices are already expected to rise over the next year as a result. Now, add Toshiba to the list of impacted companies – and its flood damage is so severe that it doesn’t plan on opening the facility again anytime soon.
Hard drive maker Seagate said it shipped 51 million disk drives in its fiscal first quarter for 2012 ended September 30, 2011. Seagate also reported revenue of $2.8 billion, up from just shy of $2.7 billion one year prior. Net income for the quarter fell to $140 million, or 32 cents per share, down from $149 million, or 31 cents per share in the same quarter one year ago, but still outpaced Wall Street's expectations, according to an AP report.
Need more storage space? If you don't fancy yourself a gambler, it's a good idea to shop hard drives now rather than roll the dice that prices for mechanical storage will stay dirt cheap. The flooding in Thailand hit the hard drive industry pretty hard and it's now expected that HDD prices will go up as component costs rise and inventory gets low.
StarTech specializes in hard-to-find connectivity parts and the occasional gee-whiz device, the latter of which is what the company's new USB 3.0/eSATA to SATA Standalone 1:3 Hard Drive Duplicator Dock falls under. In case it's not obvious from the product title, this is a device that performs 1:3 sector-by-sector duplication from a single SATA drive onto three others all at the same time, and you don't need to plug it into a PC.
Ultrabook players were hoping Intel would cut them a break with a juicy 50 percent discount on Core i processors to be used in the new notebook form factor. Intel, having already earmarked millions of dollars towards marketing the Ultrabook concept, scoffed at the idea of half-off CPUs, leaving notebook makers looking for other ways to cut back costs. Hello hybrid storage.
Severe flooding in Thailand forced Western Digital to temporarily close shop in its Bangkok facilities last week, and now that it's had time to assess the damage, things aren't looking so great. Western Digital issued a statement updating the situation today and said it expects the flooding to impede the company's ability to fulfill product demand through the end of the year.