updated 05:35 pm EST, Wed November 30, 2011
Market still feeling effects of Thai floods
Although the floodwaters have receded in Thailand, the disaster is still said to be affecting supply chains in the tech industry. Canaccord Genuity analyst Bobby Burleson suggests Intel has been forced to stockpile its microprocessors as a "direct result" of the hard drive shortages that resulted from flooded factories located in Thailand.
The chip maker's inventories are reportedly backed up by six to seven weeks, nearly doubling the typical time-frame that pushes the components through the system in approximately four weeks. The company's inventory is not expected to return to normal until sometime next year.
Burleson also credits the rising popularity of tablets as a secondary factor that is leading to "increasing uncertainty" in the computer market. The iPad and Amazon's cheaper Kindle Fire tablet are said to have a negative impact on PC sales.
Other analysts echo Burleson's outlook, which suggests the computer market may show even steeper declines early in the year. An IDC report forecasts a 20-percent drop in computer shipments early in 2012, with the biggest impact among low-end devices such as netbooks.