Will Thailand Floods Affect Black Friday 2011?
Thailand Floods Mean More Expensive Hard Drives, Computers
The widespread flooding in Bangkok is about to hit closer to home for Westerners. Thailand is the second-largest producer of hard drives after China, and those drives are not being built as quickly, if at all.
Formerly cheap hard drives are already becoming more expensive, and, if those cheap netbooks even make it to the shelves in time for Black Friday, those that follow could be considerably more expensive. Pricing for cheap electronics depends on their components actually being able to be built.
Toshiba and Western Digital have shut down hard drive production in Thailand, while Seagate stated that its manufacturing process has been interrupted.
Hard Disk Shortage Driving Up Prices
Between them, Western Digital and Seagate produce around 90% of the world's hard drives, and, when their supply chain gets broken, the market feels it. Hard disk prices are rising.
Online pricing for internal hard drives (NewEgg, for example) is already reflecting a hike.
The flooding will lead to a roughly 28% drop in hard drive manufacturing in Q4. So, while there may not be an actual hard drive shortage by Black Friday (November 25), such a shortage will likely be on the way. In the meantime, though, expect those doorbuster sales to exclude anything that uses a hard drive.
Oh, and nearly 400 people have been killed so far in the floods that are swamping Bangkok.
Quoth Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin, "Now do you care about the floods?"