Have HDD prices started to come back from the stratosphere?

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2012 - 08:55 AM |
Tagged: hdd, thailand, flooding

TechSpot did some number crunching to develop the chart you can see below which tracks the price of HDDs from September, before the flooding in Thailand straight through to last week.  The spike upwards as stock and manufacturing capability was destroyed is easily noticeable but then the pattern starts to fragment.  The Green lines from Seagate and WD seem to have the most resiliency, being among the first to start decreasing in price and the only ones with a still declining price.  The large drives, such as the 3TB Barracuda not only declined to reduced their price but are actually getting more expensive.  The mobile side of the market is also covered though it does not seem as hard hit as their desktop cousins.  They didn't collect data on Enterprise drives, which are few and far between for anyone looking to grow their data centre, since it is the mobile and desktop HDDs which interest most readers.  Check out the numbers here.

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"The hard disk drive supply chain was hit hard late last year when a series of floods struck Thailand. The Asian country accounts for about a quarter of the world's hard drive production, but thousands of factories had to close shop for weeks as facilities were under water, in what is considered the world's fourth costliest natural disaster according to World Bank estimates. That's on top of the human cost of over 800 lives."

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Source: TechSpot
February 7, 2012 | 09:10 AM - Posted by Swoosh (not verified)

For what is happening right now and whatever the issue may come for HHDs in the future
one thing certain.. All those Hard drive manufacturers who suffered a huge loss of
profit due to Thailand's calamity, the sends us a very very strong message, that is..
"OUR PRICES WILL NEVER GO DOWN THE WAY YOU EXPECT.. SO ITS BETTER FOR YOU TO MOVE INTO
SOLID STATE DRIVES AND LEAVE HARD DRIVES IN THE DARK SO WE CAN EARN LESS PROFIT..."

Well, that is really a strong message and thats what the consumers are doing now.
leaving HDDs in the DARK...

February 7, 2012 | 03:18 PM - Posted by Frenchy2k1 (not verified)

Manufacturers did not need to jack up any price, the laws of the market did.
The "Market" works a bit like a giant auction, especially when there is a limited supply. After the flood in Thailand, less HDDs were manufactured, due to the plants being unusable, however, demand did not change much. Less unit available, same demand = prices raised, as only the ones willing to pay more would get an item.

Now, volumes are coming back and prices will fall. How far prices fall is the question. Very low prices like the ones currently seen in DRAM are actually unhealthy too. Companies are operating with razor thin margins and discount heavily to recover cash, even at a loss of profit, due to overproduction and saturation of the market. Same was happening in the HDD market. The flood changed some of the long term contracts and hence how companies do business.

February 7, 2012 | 04:49 PM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

I still run my primary system's boot drive off of an old 250 gig drive. I'm waiting until I can get a new 250 gig SSD for $120.

Am hoping to replace my 2x1TB RAID-1 storage array with 2x3TB drives, but won't pay more than $120/each for the 3TB drives. If not, I can just stick with them until I can get 2x512GB SSDs for that price in the next 2 years.

I don't care about their razor thin margins when there's ~15% failure rate within the first year and an additional 10% within the next 2 years. I paid $240 for a 1TB drive I didn't have to worry about mechanical failure on.

February 7, 2012 | 10:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I wish there was more differentiation in your graph colours / legend.

Maybe have half of them dotted, or something, I spent half an hour trying to work out which colour was which one time.

(we don't all have our monitors professionally balanced for colour temp)

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