Feeds

WD: HDD prices won't fall to pre-flood levels until 2013

Biz, consumers still footing bill after Thai production went underwater

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Hard disk drive pricing may not tumble to pre-flooding levels until next year as consumers and businesses continue to foot the bill for reparation work, WD has claimed.

The once waterlogged WD fabs in the Navanakorn Industrial Estate Zone in Thailand were cleaned up earlier this year and are back up and running following the worst flooding in the country for half a century.

The crisis seriously dented the output of the market behemoth's production lines but also dampened some component manufacturing at Seagate, which caused market prices to rise rapidly in the weeks after the flooding.

WD's UK and Ireland senior sales director, Ian Keene, said the costs associated with resolving the matter mean pricing is unlikely to hit previous lows until late this year or early next.

"There are a lot of added costs right now," he said. "WD spent a lot of money on capital damage, running [under-utilised] factories that still paid people and mitigating risks of [future] floods," he added.

Thai frogmen were even dispatched by the Thai government last year in a bid to salvage WD manufacturing kit from its two fabs, which produced 60 per cent of its drives worldwide.

Keene said that at the height of flood, defences surrounding the industrial park were raised, the government cleared out tributaries and dug new canals to divert any water from the industrial estate and WD raised the defences around its specific fabs.

Shifting more production to Malaysia has also had an impact, the vendor added, "clustering manufacturing brings efficiencies ... but when it is spread that is a cost".

Keene said WD had "recovered" more quickly than industry commentators had forecast – the plants were nearing full capacity some months ago – and said only some high-spec products remained in tight supply.

Sources in the distribution sector said the trade price for a 1TB drive was still at $90 – compared to the $50 prior to the Thai crisis in October – and some suspected this was suppressing demand.

A recent report by IHS iSuppli showed that the duopoly of WD and Seagate hold a combined 85 per cent share of the worldwide market, which will serve to keep average sales prices (ASP) high until 2014.

According to channel analyst Context, which tracks distributor shipments, internal drive ASPs went up across the market by 117 per cent in November compared to September, before the impact of flooding was felt.

As it stood in June, pricing was on average 37 per cent higher than it was in September, though Seagate's ASPs were 46.6 per cent higher than pre-flood levels. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.