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3.8M Fewer PCs to be Sold in Q1'12 Due to Limited HDD Supply

By - Source: IHS | B 27 comments

The market firm estimates that the industry will ship 3.8 million fewer PC than previously predicted as hard drives just are not as easy to come by. As a result, IHS now believes that the PC industry will not grow by 9.5 percent, but only by about 6.8 percent, which equates to 84.2 million units. PC shipments typically drop by about 6 percent from Q4 to Q1, but the limited hard drive supply will cause the decline to reach 11.6 percent, iSuppli said.

IHS predicts that worldwide PC shipments in the first quarter of 2012 will amount to 84.2 million units, compared to the earlier forecast of 88 million. The new first-quarter forecast foresees an 11.6 percent sequential decline from 95.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. 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 percent historical average decline.

"The PC supply chain says it has sufficient HDD inventory for the fourth quarter of 2011. However, those stockpiles will run out in the first quarter of 2012, impacting PC production during that period," said Matthew Wilkins, senior principal analyst, compute platforms for IHS. Wilkins expects the supply situation to improve during the first quarter. and a rebound of shipments could take place in the second half of the year. In fact, the market research firm said that there is a chance of hard drive excess supply in the market by the end of 2012 as the industry returns to full production in Thailand.

For the entire year, it appears that the PC industry will miss its 400 million goal once again. IHS believes that only 376 million PCs will ship, "partly due to the HDD shortage, along with weakening demand due to other factors." IHS says that "the bulk in reduction in shipments will be in the notebook space, which is the area impacted by the HDD shortage." The market firm also noted that PCs will continue to be impacted by the demand for notebooks and are likely to face strong headwind.

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    ta152h , December 10, 2011 12:34 PM
    The second paragraph has quite a bit of redundancy from the first.

    The first paragraph has a lot of the same stuff the second one does.
  • 11 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 10, 2011 11:25 AM
    No $h!t. Built ~10PCs in the last 1.5 months, only got HDDs for 2 of them or so. The rest will run as diskless or thin clients; not everyone feels comfortable spending $100 on a 500GB.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    alyoshka , December 10, 2011 11:10 AM
    Actually the number of PC to be sold is going to be just a little lower , it's only the price of the storage, oops ones cheap now expensive, storage capacities that going to go lower. Instead of people saturating their rigs with 8 TB of discs, they are now going to settle for the 500GB stuff.
    On the other side if they meant the branded paperweights, yeah, they're going to see a real downside.
  • Display all 27 comments.
  • 11 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 10, 2011 11:25 AM
    No $h!t. Built ~10PCs in the last 1.5 months, only got HDDs for 2 of them or so. The rest will run as diskless or thin clients; not everyone feels comfortable spending $100 on a 500GB.
  • 1 Hide
    K2N hater , December 10, 2011 11:42 AM
    1 more reason for a potential buyer to take an Ultrabook instead.
  • 16 Hide
    ta152h , December 10, 2011 12:34 PM
    The second paragraph has quite a bit of redundancy from the first.

    The first paragraph has a lot of the same stuff the second one does.
  • 5 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 10, 2011 12:50 PM
    Quote:
    1 more reason for a potential buyer to take an Ultrabook instead.


    Load of BS! How will an ultrabook help with storage?
  • 3 Hide
    Marco925 , December 10, 2011 1:30 PM
    Forget about gold, Hard drives are now much more valuable.
  • -5 Hide
    TheMaristBoy , December 10, 2011 1:49 PM
    Looks like cloud storage will finally get off the ground
  • 2 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 10, 2011 2:13 PM
    it looks like almost every market analyst is predicting grim future for hdd prices. it could be a push to popularize other storage mediums like ssds and cloud. ssds are good but they're still pricier and cloud tends to fail quite spectacularly. the lower capacity hdds could make a comeback in prebuilt pcs. future looks bleak. :( 
  • 8 Hide
    nottheking , December 10, 2011 2:20 PM
    One thing I'm looking to see is how the SSD market is shaping up. I'd be surprised if the price spike in HDDs hasn't convinced a significant portion (at least a couple percent) of the market to shift to getting SSDs instead.
    amk-aka-PhantomLoad of BS! How will an ultrabook help with storage?

    Ultrabooks tend to use SSDs, not HDDs. As they're manufactured differently, in different facilities, there weren't any shortages with the Thailand floods. As a result, they didn't see the same price increases.

    Chances are SSD prices may go up, but only a small amount: this increase would just be due to the increased demand for SSDs to take up the slack from HDDs, but also, due to the more robust semiconductor market, it could almost certainly expand production much better to meet this increased demand.
  • 4 Hide
    DRosencraft , December 10, 2011 2:31 PM
    Quote:
    TheMaristBoy


    Looks like cloud storage will finally get off the ground


    Yeah... I'm definitely not going that route. Call me paranoid, but I much rather keep an eye on my own data than trust it to some data-bank out there. Hacking, lost files, server crashes, shut down servers, spotty internet service for whatever reason... at least if i have the drive when something goes wrong i'm enpowered to do something about it. I couldn't care less if cloud storage utterly fails... but that's just my opinon. :kaola: 

    On another note, that really sucks for the PC industry. They've already been under pressure and now they have to contend with a supply shortage on a critical component. I'd like to say this will help the transition to SSDs, but the price-point still isn't ideal there and the average consumer doesn't know enough about the technology to understand the tradeoff between SSD performance and HDD size. But, you've gotta start somewhere, right?
  • 2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 10, 2011 2:53 PM
    Quote:
    One thing I'm looking to see is how the SSD market is shaping up. I'd be surprised if the price spike in HDDs hasn't convinced a significant portion (at least a couple percent) of the market to shift to getting SSDs instead.

    Ultrabooks tend to use SSDs, not HDDs. As they're manufactured differently, in different facilities, there weren't any shortages with the Thailand floods. As a result, they didn't see the same price increases.

    Chances are SSD prices may go up, but only a small amount: this increase would just be due to the increased demand for SSDs to take up the slack from HDDs, but also, due to the more robust semiconductor market, it could almost certainly expand production much better to meet this increased demand.


    The average consumer doesn't understand why these "SSD hard drives" (heard that pearl recently from some customer) are so expensive with such little capacity. I guess I gotta build a demo rig with an SSD to demonstrate the power to them :D 

    Most consumers don't realize that they do not need more than 100GB storage in their laptop. Is it really that difficult to keep all the movies/music/pictures on an external drive? (Then you don't need to sync data between your devices, as well!) Thus they look for laptops with bigger storage.
  • 4 Hide
    schmich , December 10, 2011 3:15 PM
    I doubt they'll ship less because of the low supply of HDD. They will ship less because of prices going up due to the HDD shortage. There isn't going to be a scenario where there are simply no computers in stores due to a lack of HDDs. It's the price for consumers, that's all.
  • -1 Hide
    schmich , December 10, 2011 3:18 PM
    amk-aka-PhantomLoad of BS! How will an ultrabook help with storage?

    Ultrabook are just overpriced underpowered thin laptops. If you think about prices or performance then an ultralaptop isn't for you.

    As for SSDs, they're overrated. They cost tons, sacrifices lots of storage and only decrease load times. I rather pay LESS for MORE storage and put that saved money on a better C/GPU.
  • 5 Hide
    nottheking , December 10, 2011 3:28 PM
    schmichAs for SSDs, they're overrated. They cost tons, sacrifices lots of storage and only decrease load times. I rather pay LESS for MORE storage and put that saved money on a better C/GPU.

    You also forgot that they tend to have a lower TDP, are silent, and by virtue of having no moving parts, aren't prone to failure from being dropped, which can come in handy for a portable device.

    True, they're worse on the price-per-gigabyte range, but the increase in HDD prices has closed that gap a lot. Hence my impression on why SSD sales will likely go up: the lower difference likely means that more people will consider the extra cost worth paying for what they're getting.
  • 5 Hide
    AznCracker , December 10, 2011 3:54 PM
    wow i thought $55 for 1 tb was expensive. now its $120 O.O
  • 2 Hide
    xerroz , December 10, 2011 4:33 PM
    TheMaristBoyLooks like cloud storage will finally get off the ground

    I wouldn't be surprised if this is a whole conspiracy to make that happen. (Yeah I know about the floods and all that but news can always be twisted, like say, the supply being short when it isn't)
  • 6 Hide
    ojas , December 10, 2011 4:38 PM
    OMG! Now PCs will die!!! Post-PC era! Hard drives are extinct! tablets will prevail!!! Muhahaha...

    As if. :D 
  • 3 Hide
    jimmy-bee , December 10, 2011 5:27 PM
    I raise the BS excuse flag, I can go to Newegg or Tiger Direct and get one right now.
  • 0 Hide
    jimmy-bee , December 10, 2011 5:28 PM
    TheMaristBoyLooks like cloud storage will finally get off the ground

    Yeah for stupid tools who have faith in it. With all the hacks being continually done, SONY, Facebook and on and on they can keep their pay us a monthly fee to hold your data crap.
  • 5 Hide
    tlmck , December 10, 2011 6:20 PM
    I knew there was some brilliance to that stash of spare components in my closet.
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