Feeds

Massive PC shortages to hit this Xmas

Flooded disk drive fabs flush Santa's sack

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

PC shortages will likely dampen retail sales this Christmas as a result of the shortfall in hard drive production caused by killer flooding in Thailand.

Analysts claimed this week that 48 million fewer disks will be shipped this quarter, but had reckoned the PC supply chain has sufficient stocks to see it through to next year.

Not so according to Acer UK boss Neil Marshall, who reckons product availability will dry up in the festive season.

"The whole industry is expecting shortages in terms of what we're hearing from retailers. Our competitors will struggle with supply and we are best positioned to capitalise on the shortages of others," he told El Reg.

The firm suffered from inventory overload this year and even though the profile is better than it has been all year, "we can use it [the remainder] to plug the gaps".

The flooding in Thailand wrecked WD's in-country production lines, inundated Toshiba's drive plant and ruined Seagate's sub assembly market. It also killed scores of people and left hundreds of thousands of others out of work.

Graham Long, veep at Samsung UK, said the disaster had impacted disk drives and the components used to manufacture them and other goods.

"Unfortunately there will be some shortages in Q4 but we are working with HQ and our partners to try to satisfy the healthy demand that we've got," he said.

Sony UK general manager Raj Pandya told The Reg: "Like everyone else there will be an impact." He said detailing the numbers was not possible at this stage and it would be another 10 days before Sony gets a clear picture.

Distribution insiders claim HP, Apple and Asus will struggle with PC supplies in the fourth quarter - Asus confirmed it will run out of drives by the end of November. One well-placed source, speaking about vendors across the board, suggested some lines "could have a 20 per cent to 30 per cent volume shortfall in the consumer space".

According to reports in DigiTimes, PC vendors are now turning to the grey market to source hard drives.

The panic buying resulted in Original Design Manufacturers (ODM) in Taiwan doubling, or in some cases tripling, order volumes with disk makers, says DigiTimes.

As revealed by The Reg yesterday, drive prices in the channel have doubled in the past couple of weeks and, unless the situation dramatically improves, they could rise significantly again.

Other distribution sources are warning that PC shortages will be more severe in Q1, and WD – hit hardest by the flooding – has warned that resolving the problems will be a multi-quarter challenge.

HP has refused to comment, while spokesmen for Apple and Asus were unavailable to talk to us. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Will.i.am gets CUFFED as he announces his new wristjob, the PULS
It's got four KILOWATTS of something, apparently
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?
Subtle, naturalistic ambiance – perfect for Transformers 4
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.