Computerworld – Flooding in Thailand is wreaking havoc on hard disk drive (HDD) manufacturers.

While vendors are expected to keep their most valuable customers – computer system manufacturers — supplied with inventory, the consumer retail market will likely be hit hard by shortages and price increases, analysts say.

Two industry research firms, IHS iSuppli and IDC, have predicted that the overall market shortage due to factory flooding in Thailand will reach 25% to 28% over the next six months.

The largest producer of hard drives, Western Digital is expected to be hit the hardest as IDC predicts that up to 75% of its production will be temporarily shut down, IDC said today.

IHS iSuppli said fourth quarter hard drive shipments will decline by 27.7% to 125 million units, from 173 million shipped in the third quarter.

Users should expect to see price increases of some 10% over the third quarter.

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