A heavier-than-normal rainy season in Thailand may result in some instability in the platter-based hard drive market. Western Digital, one of the biggest names in hard drives, has two hard drive factories in Thailand, at least one of which is now underwater.
While that one manufacturer is certainly affected, what you may not know is that a Thai company by the name of Nidec happens to provide the motors for between 70-80% of all hard drive manufacturers. Unfortunately, Nidec is also currently submerged.
While there are other drive motor manufacturers, this may cause a significant ripple in hard drive prices. So will the fact that dozens of critical component makers that supply WD, Seagate, and Hitachi are also closed from the flooding.
We here at OWC are doing all we can to address a possible drive shortage, but it’s not all about the electronics; Thailand is also a major exporter of rice, a key component in the diets of many in southeast Asia. The potential impact on the food supply is much more concerning than harder-to-find hard drives. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the people of Thailand, along with our hopes for a safe and speedy recovery.