Likely, this is not good as far as volume of unit sales go.
The only thing that would help is if the panic buying were to allow Intel to also raise the prices of its CPUs.
However, this would mean Intel would purposely have to cut down on manufacturing now.
Now I know this is obvious to all but what on earth is the computer industry doing relying upon parts built in a flood plain? Talk about stupid.
Yes I know Intel and AMD and Apple and the rest did not build in a flood plain but they all rely upon hard drives made by idiot companies who do make in a flood plain.
If the Fabs in Thailand take a few months to start up again, this will get ugly.
Idle power is great: near zero.
READ time is great: zero rotational latency and seek time.
WRITE time is not as stellar: similar to rotating if my memory is correct.
Early drives have problems with wear out and with a roll off in performance as the drive firmware begins to shuffle blocks for "wear out" prevention.
Be sure to have drive error (wear) monitor programs enabled or recent data backups.
On drive redundancy for ECC and open free space for data wear shuffling is why they get the strange disk drive sizes like 80gb for the Intel drive.
Intel has much better data on inventory levels of hard drives and the ability of its multiple sources to ramp up if necessary. I would expect more of a shortage on sole hard drive units that go into PC after the PC has been bought. I would definitely not pay any attention to analysts that are just speculating as to what will happen. So far Intel is relatively confident that all orders will be met.
Intel will have no problem producing CPU and there is no dependency on the Thailand area.
Hard drive manufactures like WDC who have factories there, will definately be impacted. Hard drives require a dust-free, clean room environment for their manufacture. Drive size (3.5in vs 2.5in vs. ...) might be built at certain factories located in the area and have constraint.
The components required by the hard drives manufacturer such as the metal parts, semiconductor components, connectors, and all the other small parts ... could possibly have some dependency on a dominant source in Thailand. That is what Seagate is suggesting might be a factor. They are checking now to see.
There are finished drives in the channels and those have been accounted for. Hard disk drive sales are being cancelled or scaled back.
The EXACT same issues have to be considered about SSD drives. There has been a massive conversion to SSD from rotating media. WDC has seen their volumes and sales decline for the last 3 quarters. That suggests excess capacity in the industry.
The drives will be directed to the market with the highest margins and with contracts in place. Server vendors will get their drives. High end computer verdors will get their drives. The victim will be any application with a low margin price.
IMO, there is some slack in the production pipeline. It was not operating at 100% capacity. There were drives in the channels and warehouses. The market will become efficient in allocating them.
It still may or may not be a problem but I think it will be most felt by WDC who will not be able to build product.
Listen to Intel. They have been much more accurate than just about every analyst and research firms such as IDC and Gartner.
In fact, Intel has been conservative enough in their guidance to positively surprise themselves as well. Memory chip makers and storage device makers have always had high inventory issues and this flood should not change things much. Common sense says that competitors will be more than happy to fill in the void created by WDC.
Trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.
You still have Hitachi and Samsung plus some online capacity of Western Digital and Seagate. There are work around with hard drives.
The analysts who make a living off of manipulating Intel's stock will use any story, no matter how plausible to downgrade Intel.
PC PRODUCTION MAY BE IN JEOPARDY
Intel on Tuesday said the flooding would not affect the PC market in the fourth quarter.
Since then, details about the damage to Western Digital's factories in Thailand have caused some analysts to believe a shortage of hard drives could start interfering with PC production in December.
"There's a major disconnect here. We don't see how they can not be affected and we're recommending investors avoid Intel at these levels," said Brad Gastwirth, co-founder of ABR Investment Strategy, an independent research firm.
Western Digital said Thailand accounts for 60 percent of drive production. Its customers have about two weeks of inventory on hand and distributors have around four weeks of supplies.
As those inventories get used up, the supply of hard drives may be about 10 percent less than demand for the December quarter, estimated Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar.
With production in Thailand likely to be constrained for several weeks, customers will face larger shortages in early 2012, IHS iSuppli analyst Fang Zhang said.
No. 2 PC maker Dell said the flood would have little impact on its quarter ending this month but did not say how it expected to be impacted beyond then.
A Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ - News) spokesman declined to comment.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich, additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in New York; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)
There may be some panic buying or hoarding of H.D. There should not be panic buying or hording of CPU.
Intel has spent much time and energy building rundancy into their production and supply chain. IMO, Intel will not likely change their pricing. Intel DOES make SSD drive components and the ULTRABOOKS are being introduced next year. I suspect that Intel is working overtime to make sure the Ultrabook pieces are in place.
Western Digital is going to be hurt pretty badly but Seagate is suggesting somewhere between 0% and -20% reduction in units. 50m this quarter goes to 40m-50m next quarter. The problem seems to be their component suppliers.
Google "Thailand disk drive"
Reuters) - A looming shortage of hard drives caused by floods in Thailand threatens to disrupt computer manufacturers as soon as December and hurt tech giants like Intel (INTC.O), Apple (AAPL.O) and Dell (DELL.O).
Thailand is the No. 2 maker of hard drives, used in laptops, servers and TV set-top boxes, and damage caused by flooding across the region could keep factories closed or hobbled for months, analysts and executives say.
World output of hard drives could fall as much as 30 percent in the final three months of 2011 and manufacturers that need them are now scrambling to snap up existing inventories, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.Top hard drive makers Western Digital (WDC.N) and Seagate (STX.O) both have factories in Thailand, where flooding has killed at least 320 people since July and devastated industrialized areas in the center of the country.
Western Digital's factories are closed and Seagate, while its plants are running, warns it could face parts shortages.
Apple chief executive Steve Cook this week told analysts on a conference call he expects an industry shortage of disk drives.