The disastrous flooding in Thailand could mean a shortage of hard drives for the next few months, with an accompanying massive price spike. This isn't the first time we've heard this news from the floods, but the effects are now beginning to show. According to DigiTimes, there could be a 10 percent shortage in hard disks from December until April as inventories will probably run out by the end of November, and production won't gear back up to full capacity until February at the earliest. Allegedly, this shortage has caused the PC manufacturers to go searching the grey market for more drives, which by their very nature have less stringent quality controls, and could mean a spate of PCs with less-than-reliable disks.
The price hikes have already started to hit consumers, and if you want a new HDD, you'd best be getting one as soon as possible — this is not the time to be waiting for a post-holiday sale. ExtremeTech has looked at the price of number of HDDs, and since September they've all significantly spiked in price, some to more than double their previous cost. While SSDs don't seem to have been hit by the floods, they'll be more popular because of it, and may also rise in price.