updated 10:10 pm EST, Wed November 16, 2011
Hard drive shortages may be short-lived
The hard drive shortages triggered by Thai flooding might be resolved as soon as December. Resellers claimed Wednesday to Digitimes that they hadn't seen as much scarcity as expected and even had an oversupply. They reportedly plan to drop prices next month to clear out stock.
A recovery in key hard drive part supplier Nidec's production plants may have been key. An "obvious" improvement in supply should appear by January or February, the resellers said.
Sluggish PC sales may ironically help the hard drive business by cutting back on demand for the storage. A poor economy has been a common factor, although Apple's iPad has helped drain sales away from netbooks and budget notebooks, most of all from big but budget-focused PC builders like Acer.
While not confirmed on a broader level, a quicker end to the shortage could avoid some of the more dire predictions. Researchers at IDC warned that the Thailand flooding could plunge PC sales by 20 percent as even larger companies might not have enough finished PCs to ship.