updated 09:20 am EDT, Fri July 3, 2009
NB HD Shortage in Summer
Demand for notebook hard drives should lead to a shortage of disks throughout much of the summer, integrated circuit producers GMI Technology and Weikeng Industrial warned on Friday. As sales agents for hard drives from Hitachi, Toshiba and Western Digital, they tell DigiTimes that their clients hadn't anticipated demand and didn't adjust until it was too late. Hitachi and Western Digital were fiscally conservative due to the economy and didn't expand until early spring, while Toshiba is simply seeing very high demand for a single-platter 250GB drive.
The differences could at least hurt revenue at these companies but could also lead to delays in shipping notebooks, particularly with certain configurations. Some computer designers, including Apple, deliberately choose more than one vendor to supply the same hard drives to prevent shortages or defects from slowing down their entire production runs, though it's not known just how much it or other companies are insulated from a shortage on this level.
Sub-notebook, 1.8-inch hard drives have also been hurt by shortages due to Samsung's new preference for solid-state technology.