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Dell disk drive prices soar as rivals hold firm

BTO model and minimal inventory holding to blame, says analyst

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Dell enterprise disk drive prices have soared by up to 35 per cent in the two weeks following the events in Thailand.

Context data reveals average sales prices (ASPs) for Dell HDDs grew 6.9 per cent as of 31 October but hikes were more pronounced on larger capacity specs, with a 3 per cent rise on drives below 600GB and the highest climb on a 3TB unit.

Alexandre Mesguich, veep of enterprise research at Context, said the numbers highlighted one of the limitations of Dell's "just in time" operating model with the vast majority of its kit built-to-order.

In contrast, IBM, EMC and NetApp – all of which work in a two-tier model with local distributors holding some stock – have confirmed that their prices remain largely unchanged, he added.

Mesguich said distributors hold stock locally and provide a buffer for any supply chain issues. Dell works with wholesalers Hammer and Micro P and is working on building up SKUs for next-day delivery.

Dell did not respond to calls for comment. ®

Update

The Texan tech titan has managed to get back to us to say its "direct supply" model is helping to mitigate drive drought headaches. The Dell statement adds:

We do expect the net impact of the industry-wide HDD supply constraint to affect pricing at the specific drive level to varying degrees in each category.

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