Hard drive shortage pushes prices up 150%

Hard drive shortage pushes prices up 150%
Pricey little things

The price and availability of hard-disk drives has shot up by as much as 150 per cent since the floods in Thailand caused many manufacturing plants to close.

Idealo.co.uk has analysed the price changes on its shopping comparison site, finding that average prices went up 151 per cent from 1 October to 14 November – that means that hard drives that were previously around £44 went selling for £110.

Supplies run low

As well as external hard drives going up in price, Digitimes reports that there is likely to be a shortfall of around 70 million HDD for laptops and desktop computers in the final quarter of 2011.

With demand apparently around the 180 million unit mark, there are only hard drives available for between 110 and 130 million devices.

What that means is that computer manufacturers like Acer, Asus and Dell may increase prices on its notebooks for launch in December to cover the cost of the inflated components.

When will the hard drive squeeze end? It's not clear – but some manufacturers are "relatively optimsitc" that the shortages will ease in the first three months of 2012.

But it seems that the industry as a whole will take between nine and 24 months to recover, which could mean increased notebook prices throughout the whole of next year.

Lest we forget, the flooding in Thailand caused hundreds of deaths, destroyed homes and devastated lives – facts which certainly put the hard drive shortage into context. If you'd like to donate to the recovery effort, you can do so here.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.