The hard disk drive shortage caused by the floods in Thailand will cut PC shipments by four million next quarter, analysts have said.
The predicted shortages have already led to prices jumping, but inventory is only set to run out next quarter.
According to IHS iSuppli, the Thai floods will cause a 3.8 million shortfall in PC shipments next quarter, hurting forecasts throughout the year.
“The PC supply chain says it has sufficient HDD inventory for the fourth quarter of 2011," said Matthew Wilkins, senior principal analyst of compute platforms for IHS. "However, those stockpiles will run out in the first quarter of 2012, impacting PC production during that period.”
The shortage will mean shipments fall 11.6% from the fourth quarter. "While PC shipments typically decrease in the first quarter compared to the peak holiday-selling season in the fourth quarter, the drop in 2012 will be far sharper than the 6% historical average decline," the analyst firm said.
"Total PC unit shipments in 2012 are forecast to amount to 376 million, compared to the previous prediction of 399 million, partly due to the HDD shortage, along with weakening demand due to other factors," the analyst firm added.
The shortages won't last long, however. Supplies will start to improve in the first quarter, and the analyst firm said production would fully rebound by the third quarter of next year, as manufacturers recover or shift production to other locations.
"Ironically, the HDD market could face an inventory surplus by the end of 2012, after facilities in Thailand return to full production," the firm said. "When combined with the added production outside the country, the recovery in Thailand’s HDD operations could result in excess supply."
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk