devastating floods in Thailand killed over 800 people, and brought parts of the country's economy to a standstill. But while flood waters recede slowly, they are still receding. The country's energy ministry today projected a spike in energy demand, as its industry will need more energy than normal to regain its healthy growth rate from before November.The world's supply of hard disk drives has fallen dramatically after
Western Digital is already back in production in Bang Pa-In, once the summer palace of Thailand's kings. But until the country's industry is completely back on its feet, the price of hard drives worldwide may remain unseasonably high. Amazon price tracking data for a 2 TB WD Caviar SATA III drive that sold for as low as $134.99 last September, sells for $210.88 today after peaking at $269.99 around Black Friday.
While the world looks for bright spots from the Thai flooding story, analyst firm IDC believes it may have found one: Shipments of solid state disks - flash memory-based components whose largest contributing manufacturing country is China - are expected to have risen by 74% for the year 2011, well ahead of the 54% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) the firm had predicted.
IDC now expects the final tally for 2011 to show 25.5 million solid state drive units shipped, compared to just 14.7 million for 2010. This could also actually have a positive impact on the burgeoning ultrabook form factor, championed by Intel and spotlighted this week at CES 2012. Increased availability of SSDs could help bring list prices down for premium model ultrabooks going into the first half of the year, especially those that use Windows 8 - which analysts expect to have improved SSD performance over Windows 7.
"IDC believes the net effect of these dynamics on the PC market, coupled with SSD pricing - which is expected to be below $1 per gigabyte in the second half of 2012 - supports increased SSD shipments that are more richly configured with higher capacity SSDs compared with IDC's previous forecast," reads a statement provided by IDC to ReadWriteWeb this afternoon. The firm is adjusting its projected compound growth rate for SSDs going forward, with shipments expected to rise at 51.5% CAGR from the current, elevated levels.