updated 06:15 pm EDT, Tue October 18, 2011
Key factories shut down
Mac and general hard drive production could be hindered by the flooding that has ravaged Thailand in recent months, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. Waters have inundated the country since July, killing at least 315 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless. Even Bangkok is now threatened, the BBC notes.
Speaking during today's fourth-quarter results call, Cook remarked that several factories that could affect Apple are inoperable, with an unknown recovery time. Weather has allegedly prevented assessing the situation. Mac sales may be affected because a number of drive components are said to come from the country; an industry-wide shortage of disk drives is expected. Cook adds while he is not sure how the situation will affect Apple, he is "concerned," and the company has accounted for Thailand in Q1 guidance.
Apple is said to actually be in a "very positive" situation with other supplies, such as LCDs, RAM, and NAND memory. The company should be in a position to secure favorable prices, Cook suggests. The CEO's statements imply a parts surplus, or at least a reasonable match to demand, depressing the prices suppliers can charge.