The massive flooding in Thailand has severely limited the supply hard drives for the computing industry all around the world. One of the companies that was hard hit by the flooding was Seagate. I'm sure Seagate, and the computer industry hoped that the hard disk drive shortage would be over this year, but it doesn't seem that will be the case. Seagate is now reporting that the shortage of hard drives will continue throughout 2012, just as some research firms were predicting.
Seagate is predicting the shortage of hard drives by the end of 2012 is likely to be about 150 million units. Computerworld reports that Seagate's prediction is in line with estimates from research firms such as Gartner. Analysts have said all along that the biggest impact of the hard drive shortage wouldn't be felt until this year.
The flooding in Thailand already had a significant impact on shipments for Seagate in 2011. When the company reported its quarterly earnings, shipments were down 4% from the same quarter of 2010, and the reason cited was component shortages due to the flood. With the shortage becoming more significant this year, we could see prices for computer systems increase as well as prices for retail packaged hard drives increase. I still wonder if we may see more transitioning to solid-state drives that are readily available, even though they're more expensive and tend to offer less storage space than traditional hard drives.