Were you thinking that someone deserved a computer this holiday season? You might want to watch the prices because thanks to the horrible flooding in Thailand, most of the hard disk drive plants are now not functioning (and aren’t likely to reopen any time soon).
What does this mean? Well if you wanted to buy a replacement 500GB drive for a desktop system last month it cost about $60 at a good on-line vendor, right now, it is at least $110 and could be going much higher very soon (is what I have heard from my distributors).
The obvious ramifications are if you want to buy an External Hard Disk (for backing up all that important data, and remember that is important to do), or a replacement drive for your system this is going to cost a lot more. Will this impact the price of off the shelf systems and such? That one I am not so sure about, I have not seen a noticeable price increase yet, it may be that manufacturers may absorb this cost for a while, hoping supplies can be restored quicker than hoped.
It is interesting that with the globalization of component production, that a major natural disaster can cause this kind of supply interruption. There may be other hard disk drive plants elsewhere in the world, but when the major center is affected, these kind of problems can arise.
Another interesting point is that the prices of Solid State Drives SSDs are not going up in price, and given these devices are much less prone to the issues that hard drives have (i.e. they have no moving parts, they are just memory), will this change the computer industry? Where there is chaos, there is opportunity, we shall see, how this is all resolved.