IHS iSuppli: PC Shortfall to Reach 4 Million Units in Q1 2012 Due to HDD Shortage

Word to the wise -- if you find a killer deal on a mechanical hard drive and you need more storage, go ahead and pounce. As you're probably well aware by now, recent flooding in Thailand hit the hard drive industry pretty hard, and that's been resulting in higher prices all around. It's also causing a shortage of HDDs, and by extension, a shortfall in PC shipments.

According to market research firm IHS iSuppli, there will be a 3.8 million unit shortfall in PC shipments in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the previous IHS forecast issued in August, and it's a direct result of the hard drive situation. Before you panic and write off PCs, understand that PC shipments are still expected to grow in 2012, and by 6.8 percent, though that's lower than IHS iSuppli's previous forecast of 9.5 percent.

Source: IHS iSuppli

"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.

The good news is that the HDD supply situation is expected to improve starting in Q1 2012, it will just take some time to replenish the supply chain. By the end of the third quarter next year, IHS iSuppli expects the HDD industry will be able to meet demand, with PC shipments rebounding in the second half of 2012.