Hard drive prices slide as Thai flood aftermath subsides

And SSD prices have dropped by 23% over the past year

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Zhang said he expects hard drive supplies to be at their low point next quarter, but he said prices will begin to decline in the latter part of the first quarter of 2012.

"And the trend will continue throughout 2012," he said in an email reply to Computerworld. "HDD Supply could meet demand in [the third quarter of 2012] because production volumes will start to increase in [the first quarter of 2012]."

SSD prices
SSD prices have dropped in the past year, most recently correlating with the increase in hard drive prices (Source: Dynamite Data)

The drop in hard drive availability in October also correlated with a sharp drop in solid-state drive (SSD) prices, according to Dynamite's data. SSD prices fell 23% online over the past year, despite a brief price increase in November, Kubicki's data showed.

Data from DRAMeXchange also showed that rush orders for SSDs increased after the Thailand flooding disrupted hard disk drive supplies.

According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, rush orders for SSDs rose even as shipments of end-market products, including PCs, smartphones and tablet PCs, remained slugish because of slow economic conditions.

Kubicki also noted that the number of ecommerce SSD reviews has increased faster than HDD reviews over the past year.

While vendors are expected to keep their most valuable customers -- computer system manufacturers -- supplied with inventory, the consumer retail market will likely be hit by shortages and price increases, analysts say.

Two industry research firms, IHS iSuppli and IDC, have predicted that the overall market shortfall due to factory flooding in Thailand will reach 25% to 28% over the next six months.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at  @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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