The lack of harddrives continues and becomes worse with each day that passes. Western Digital has now managed to restart production in one of its fabs earlier than planned. Other plants are still under water.
One of the fabs in Bang Pa-In has finally started working again, after being filled with up to two meters of water only two weeks ago. The plans has been water-pumped and dried out since November 17th and one week later electricity and light were back in operation. Shortly afterwards the plant was re-equipped and according to Western Digital production could start again on November 30th. Note that before the 30th the company had a total production stop and produced no harddrives at all.
The restart only applies to the building in Bang Pa-In, since the remaining are still going through a thurough sanitation and renovation. At the most critical points Western Digital has been assisted by Thai military divers to collect and save equipment. The fabs in Navanakorn is still under half a meter of water and is expected to be pumped dry in the coming ten days.
But the major problem is not to get harddrive production back in operation. Crucial components that are needed to assemble the drives are still hard to find. The production of main levers should be back in regular order in March 2012. The company confirms that harddrives will be lacking in stock in the first half of 2012, and may very wel continue longer than that.
”The company believes that hard drive industry shipments in the December quarter will be limited to approximately 120 million units due to production and supply constraints related to the historic flooding in Thailand,” sa Western Digital i torsdags. ”This includes units that were in inventory at the beginning of the quarter. The company believes that demand for the December quarter is in the range of 170 million to 180 million units. The company believes that significant industry supply constraints will continue in the March quarter and beyond.”
It looks like harddrives will continue to be a rare sight and prices will remain on the same level. If you are not in a desperate need for storage space we would seriously recommend waiting for prices to drop, but right now it doesn’t look like this will happen until the end of 2012, or perhaps early 2013.
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