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Last post Author Topic: Hard drive shortage  (Read 23081 times)

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2011, 10:06:37 PM »
You guys gotta see this to believe it: http://www.ebay.com/..._trksid=p3286.c0.m14

LOL

I'd like to think they screwed up with some pricing updates. Because looking at the site, prices are all over the place. You've got a WD WD1001FAES Black 1TB 64MB 7200RPM SATA6.0 Hard Drive listed with the same seller for $199 - which is high compared to two weeks ago. But it's not totally insane.

Weird... :'(



Yea, and half the advertised prices (everywhere), when you click on them, have gone up. It is ALL speculation though at this point, ALL of it. I'm more convinced of that than ever now. This speculation will lead to a temporary supply shortage, but it won't last more than a few weeks at most.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2011, 03:47:45 PM »
UPDATE:

I've been tracking the WD20EARS (the drives I use) and a few other models. Before this anticipated supply shortage and speculation it cost $69 (approx), shipping free. It jumped up to $139 when I started commenting in this thread. Now, it is $229 at NewEgg or $249 at TigerDirect. Ironically, Amazon has the SATA6G version of this HDD, the WD20EARX for $149, but I'm sure they'll follow soon with more price increases. That said, a new one on eBay went for under $100 the other day. Also, Buy.com has it for $146.86 ... prices are all over the place. It is as if certain retailers are trying to push up the price as far as possible.. ya think? ;p

I found one on eBay, had ordered it for a more reasonable price, and the seller cancelled my order!

Ref:
http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16822136514
http://www.tigerdire...1&srkey=wd20ears
http://www.buy.com/p...64-mb/213410517.html
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 03:56:58 PM by db90h »

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2011, 03:51:49 PM »
Updated last post (as usual, and I insist on notification about my massive post-edits ;p).

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2011, 06:48:36 PM »
Wow! Even Geeks.com only has one 3.5" Internal SATA drive listed, and it's a 300G refurbed Seagate for $70.  http://www.geeks.com...CE-NDW-R&cat=HDD

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2011, 06:53:44 PM »
Amazon UK are now limiting sales of one drive per customer.

You can't place multiple orders either - you have to order different makes/models!

What a PITA - however not as much of a PITA as the poor people in Thailand are facing. What a mess.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2011, 07:15:01 PM »
Those who do have drives are keeping their inventory under wraps until the market sets the right price. The strange thing is that the external 2.5" drives have seen less of an impact, though have seen price increases. The only difference would be speculation (as in speculators), afaik.

IainB

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2011, 02:04:07 AM »
The prices will probably soar only until people stop buying them.
Exactly.
Elementary economic theory would support the probable truth of that statement (per the classic demand and supply diagram).

IainB

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2011, 04:50:32 AM »
If you absolutely have to buy a drive right now, then when it comes to looking at what drive you need to buy for yourself in the current artificial (because of stockpiling) shortage, you might be well-advised to consider:
  • Disk speed - 5400rpm or 7200rpm.
  • Whether you need it as a main drive for your PC or as a backup drive.
  • If you need it as a main drive for your PC, then what chip technology and OS you have.

For example, over the last 11 months I have been obliged to buy two new laptops to replace failed, old units.
(I was fortunate enough to get the new ones at highly reduced - 50% - prices.)
One was an HP ENVY 14, Intel i7, with a ½Gb 7400rpm drive and Windows 7/64-bit (Windows Experience Index 5.9).
One was a Dell Inspiron, AMD Triple-Core M501R (refurbished model), with a ½Gb 7400rpm drive and Windows 7/64-bit (Windows Experience Index 4.4).

The Windows Experience Index is based on the lowest subscore.
In the case of the HP ENVY, the disk transfer rate was the lowest subscore at 5.9, and the processor was the highest subscore at 7.0

In the case of the DELL Inspiron, the disk transfer rate  subscore was 5.9 also, but the lowest subscore was the graphics at 4.4, and the processor was the highest subscore at 7.0 (same as the HP ENVY).
 
So, if I had of got these laptops with 5400rpm drives instead of the 7200rpm drives, then:
  • in the case of the HP ENVY that would certainly have brought the lowest subscore lower - so the overall performance would have been further strangulated by the necessarily lower disc I/O performance - maybe to less than 4(?).
  • in the case of the DELL Inspiron that may have brought the lowest subscore even lower - so the overall performance might have been further strangulated by the necessarily lower disc I/O performance - maybe to less than 4(?).

Car analogy: This could be compared to buying a 7litre V8 and fitting it with a small twin-choke carburettor. I could have probably bought a  smaller 6-cylinder model for much less $$ and still got the same/similar performance.

So:
  • If you are buying a new PC/laptop, then ensure you get a main hard drive of 7200rpm, otherwise you are potentially throwing performance away, and you may be throwing your money away too.
  • If you are buying a new main drive for an existing PC/laptop, then ensure you get a main hard drive of 7200rpm, otherwise you are potentially throwing performance away.
  • If you are buying a drive to be used as a backup device, then, unless you have humungous data volumes to back up where optimum performance could make a significant and worthwhile difference to backup durations, it may be cheaper to buy a slower 5400rpm drive.

I have recently read that one of the disc drive manufactures will cease making 5400rpm drives, and one of the laptop manufacturers (I think it might have been HP) has said they will only be putting 7200rpm drives at least, into laptops from here on.
The other laptop manufacturers are probably already doing this, as you can see their late-model laptops - e.g., with Intel i7 CPUs) but fitted with 5400rpm drives - being released to the market at seriously good discount prices - e.g., 50%.

Four weeks ago I bought a 1Gb 5400rpm hard drive as a backup device, at a really low price of NZ$129 (figuring it wouldn't be likely to get much lower). I am using it to replace the ½Gb 5400rpm hard drive that I had been using as a backup device and bought about year ago for a very reasonable NZ$86.

I would guess that those speculators who are stockpiling 5400rpm hard drives for the anticipated shortage may find that they are holding stock which is rapidly becoming obsolete/depreciated, and which may not be saleable before too long. Who knows but that, if you can afford to sit tight for a while, then you might find that those drives are coming onto the market at record low fire-sale prices?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 04:58:14 AM by IainB »

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2011, 05:57:40 AM »
2.5" external hard drives jumped up 50% in the last 2 days, finally. I was waiting for this to happen, because it was as if the market forgot they existed. Example: WD My Passport SE 1TB /w USB 3 (essential). I bought one for backup use a month ago for $79, but regular price was $99. Now they are $149-$159, though some places are still selling at $99-$109, but that's changing fast.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2011, 06:01:23 AM »
theory would support the probable truth of that statement (p
The prices will probably soar only until people stop buying them.
Exactly.
Elementary economic theory would support the probable truth of that statement (per the classic demand and supply diagram).

BUT ... the increase in speculation will decrease the effective supply, as these speculators are going to be parting with their drives for the max they can get. So, the price will rise as major retailers run out of stock, then flatten as the speculators start to unload their inventory, then gradually decrease ... which I explained in a previous post more eloquently. The way back down is not nearly as fast as the rise in prices.

IainB

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2011, 06:56:37 AM »
@db90h:
Quote
BUT ... the increase in speculation will decrease the effective supply, as these speculators are going to be parting with their drives for the max they can get. So, the price will rise as major retailers run out of stock, then flatten as the speculators start to unload their inventory, then gradually decrease ... which I explained in a previous post more eloquently. The way back down is not nearly as fast as the rise in prices.

Well, if I understand you correctly, then I think that what you describe is the classic Supply-and-Demand model.
Supply and Demand graph.jpg

Spoiler
The price P of a product is determined by a balance between production at each price (supply S) and the desires of those with purchasing power at each price (demand D). The diagram shows a positive shift in demand from D1 to D2, resulting in an increase in price (P) and quantity sold (Q) of the product.

The theory does not help us to understand the rate at which things will move up or down relative to each other.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2011, 08:24:19 AM »
The theory does not help us to understand the rate at which things will move up or down relative to each other.

Close, but not quite what I'm saying, as the curves will have DIFFERENT SLOPES. The deflation curve will be SLOWER than the inflation curve, substantially... more gradual in its descent.

Specifically, my statement was that due to human greed the prices will not go down as fast as they went up, because the people buying up all the inventory (and even retail stores) are going to want to keep the prices inflated as long as possible... long AFTER the supply has been restored to adequate levels. The competitive pressure will be reduced substantially, though it will eventually force the price back down... slooowwwlly.

Example: It isn't going to drop 50% in a day, like it went up 50% in a day ;)

Another example of where theory doesn't apply in real life as exactly as it does in an economic class.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 09:38:16 AM by db90h »

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2011, 10:49:08 AM »
I'm returning a 1TB external WD with bad sectors tomorrow. The warranty still applies so it should be interesting to see how soon I get a replacement.  :)

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2011, 10:51:38 AM »
I'm returning a 1TB external WD with bad sectors tomorrow. The warranty still applies so it should be interesting to see how soon I get a replacement.  :)

You stand a good chance now, but in a few weeks.. dunno. I think most of the distributors still have stock, they just trying to set the prices at this time, anticipating no more shipments.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2011, 11:40:02 AM »
Posted yesterday by analyst:

http://www.cnet.com....affray-339326004.htm

"The scarcity of hard disk drives will only get worse in the coming weeks and months, according to an analyst at Piper Jaffray."


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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #40 on: November 17, 2011, 06:28:59 PM »
Woody Leonhard, who lives in Thailand, has a piece on the Windows Secrets site about the flooding and the effects on the hard disk industry.

He claims that the manufacturers, or at least their share-holders, are actually quite happy with the situation because it has temporarily changed th HD market from cut-throat commodity pricing to high profit margins.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #41 on: November 17, 2011, 06:37:15 PM »
Woody Leonhard, who lives in Thailand, has a piece on the Windows Secrets site about the flooding and the effects on the hard disk industry.

He claims that the manufacturers, or at least their share-holders, are actually quite happy with the situation because it has temporarily changed th HD market from cut-throat commodity pricing to high profit margins.

That is what I've said a few times, in much longer sentences ;p. For them, in such a low-margin industry, I actually can give them a little sympathy though. It isn't like the Oil companies ya know, these guys were barely scraping by on HDD profits as it was. That is why I do not expect anyone to be too quick to fix the 'problem', if you know what I mean... ;p

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #42 on: November 17, 2011, 07:19:33 PM »
I've never seen any reports on what HDDs cost to manufacture and sell that indicated anything about their pricing.

Does anyone have any inside information or know of any reliable information on the topic? I'm curious.
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db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #43 on: November 17, 2011, 07:59:09 PM »
I've never seen any reports on what HDDs cost to manufacture and sell that indicated anything about their pricing.
Does anyone have any inside information or know of any reliable information on the topic? I'm curious.

The cost of goods manufactured will be on the financial statement of any publicly traded company, so you could look this up if you wanted. Depending on how detailed the information you got was, it could be the total cost of the goods (including labor), or itemized all the way down to every piece. Of course, there is the set cost and the dynamic cost (incorrect terms, go look up the right ones, but you know what I mean, the base cost of doing business [e.g. factory], then cost per unit for quantity). Right now, of course, it is all about supply and demand (and speculation), and a temporary inability to produce sufficient capacity resulting in an excuse to raise prices.

UPDATE: Of course, the end retail price is of course inflated further, as the manufacturers sell in large bulk blocks, with each individual unit costing substantially less than you'd pay retail on a single unit basis. On eBay I saw large blocks of WD20EARS going for around $200 a piece though, indicating the likely end retail price, at least as predicted by some, in the short term.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 08:22:17 PM by db90h »

Renegade

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2011, 02:31:00 AM »
I've never seen any reports on what HDDs cost to manufacture and sell that indicated anything about their pricing.
Does anyone have any inside information or know of any reliable information on the topic? I'm curious.

The cost of goods manufactured will be on the financial statement of any publicly traded company, so you could look this up if you wanted. Depending on how detailed the information you got was, it could be the total cost of the goods (including labor), or itemized all the way down to every piece. Of course, there is the set cost and the dynamic cost (incorrect terms, go look up the right ones, but you know what I mean, the base cost of doing business [e.g. factory], then cost per unit for quantity). Right now, of course, it is all about supply and demand (and speculation), and a temporary inability to produce sufficient capacity resulting in an excuse to raise prices.

UPDATE: Of course, the end retail price is of course inflated further, as the manufacturers sell in large bulk blocks, with each individual unit costing substantially less than you'd pay retail on a single unit basis. On eBay I saw large blocks of WD20EARS going for around $200 a piece though, indicating the likely end retail price, at least as predicted by some, in the short term.


I don't do any supply chain work (or at least not in that area), and am not exactly Mr. Finance.

Can you help point me to wherever I could find that? A hard drive example would be great, but any example will do. Basically, if you can show me where to look, that would be fantastic.
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db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #45 on: November 18, 2011, 12:24:27 PM »
Sure. Look on the internet ;p.

superboyac

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #46 on: November 22, 2011, 02:53:26 PM »
This hard drive thing is bugging me, I'm suspicious.  I realize what I'm about to say is a little fantastic, but whatever...

Why are the prices going up like this?  Is it the flooding?  I am suspicious of that story, it's a little too convenient.  It's not that I doubt there was flooding in Thailand, or that it affected some of the hard drive factories.  I just don't buy that that is the primary reason for the price hikes across the board.

THis reminds me of whenever gas prices go crazy every once in a while, due to a hurricane, or whatever reason they give.  To me, they always just sound like excuses to raise the prices like crazy temporarily and they make tons of money in the process.

And check this out also.  iOS 5 just came out, with the cloud being the main feature.  The Amazon tablet just came out.  All this stuff is moving away from the traditional desktop pc and the need for robust local storage.  Also, having hard drive spinning in homes is not very "green", so that's another mantra that can be considered in this argument.

And now for the craziest idea: the more cloud storage there is, the harder it is to have digital privacy.  We, the minority, are aware of these things and will do our best to avoid it, but most people don't care.  Which is fine, if that's their choice.  But I personally am not happy at all about this direction.  I like having total control on my files and folders, and having them locally stored.  What happens if the ISP goes down?  All your gigabytes of stuff is inaccessible??  That would be unacceptable for me.

There is much more to this hard drive price increase than meets the eye.  I don't think it's about the flooding.  I'll bet this can be tied to some kind of government or industry movement, or policies, or something along those lines.  Who stands to gain the most from low and middle class people ceasing to buy hard drives?  You answer that question, and the rest will be revealed, I think.

db90h

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #47 on: November 22, 2011, 03:01:42 PM »
Renegade: Sorry to be sarcastic ;p. I meant to say, I don't know. Maybe the SEC filings for one of the publicly traded HDD manufacturers. This information is likely not easy to find in the format you need it in. I'm going to guess it would take a good day of work to extrapolate it from SEC financial statements.

@superboyac: You have cause to be suspicious. Flooding is true. However, as I've described, nobody is eager for the prices to go back down, and you can bet they will take maximum advantage of this situation by doing things like *not* ramping up production in alternate facilities as quickly as they could/should/would. After all, there is a financial disincentive for them to do so. As for the other, more elaborate, conspiracy theories.. dunno about that.

Look, guys, this world is whack. It all comes down to the bottom dollar for all publicly traded corporations, and most private companies even. I've seen the dirtiest tricks, most manipulative tactics, out-right theft of IP from one company to another. Nothing surprises me any more. The hard thing is fighting it, running an ethical business in the face of these atrocities.

superboyac

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #48 on: November 22, 2011, 03:02:43 PM »
From this article:
Quote
The flood took out approximately 25 percent of the world's hard drive manufacturing capacity -- but that isn't the whole story.

Western Digital has a second large plant in Malaysia. Seagate doesn't have any manufacturing in the flooded areas. Toshiba makes hard drives in several locations, not just Bang-Pa In. All of the major manufacturers rely on parts supplied by companies that were hit by the floods, but there are alternate suppliers in different locations.

When it comes to making hard drives, the sky isn't falling. Not even close.

After the flood hit, hard drive prices remained static. But then the story expanded, first in the technical press, then in the mainstream press. Two weeks ago, CEO Tim Cook in the Apple quarterly financial call talked about the Thailand floods and called an industrywide hard drive shortage "likely." Western Digital's financial call noted, "We also believe that the industry will be supply constrained due to the flooding in Thailand" and projected a net operating loss for the fourth quarter of the year. Then the financial analysts started predicting shortages.

Hardware manufacturers typically keep four to eight weeks' inventory on premises or in the immediate supply chain, but with an expected softening in fourth-quarter PC sales, some of them had let their stocks slip. They're in the process of locking in hard drive shipments for late this year and early next year.

Where are prices headed? In the short term, almost certainly up. That isn't because of supply: With Western Digital shifted to Malaysian production and Seagate plants running full tilt, the number of hard drives being produced right now is likely very close to the number that came off the assembly line before the flood. There's no doubt that the price increase is in response to demand. How long the irrational demand will last is anybody's guess.

Has the demand really increased, a this author claims?  Or is the media and companies trying to discourage us from stocking up on hard drives?  Why would the demand increase all of a sudden?  You can't just assume the demand has increased for no reason.  Why did people all of a sudden want more hard drives in Octobr/November?  As opposed to October/November of other years?

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Re: Hard drive shortage
« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2011, 03:04:29 PM »
Look, guys, this world is whack. It all comes down to the bottom dollar for all publicly traded corporations, and most private companies even. I've seen the dirtiest tricks, most manipulative tactics, out-right theft of IP from one company to another. Nothing surprises me any more. The hard thing is fighting it, running an ethical business in the face of these atrocities.
Amen, brutha.  I just started a business last year.  Seeing all this stuff makes me feel either of two ways: naive for insisting to make a buck the honest way; stupid for not coming up with these methods myself.