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Thai Flooding Disrupts Global Electronics Supply Chain

The worst flooding in Thailand in decades has disrupted computer hard-drive production, prompting analysts to say that consumers may see higher prices throughout the market in 2012, particularly for external drives. Thai-based firms supply 40 to 45 percent of the world’s hard-drives. Market-research firm IDC estimates PC shipments will drop up to 20 percent in the first quarter of 2012 because of component shortages. The PC-component market was already shaky following this year’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami, which affected the supply of semiconductor materials including silicon wafers. Dell, Toshiba, and Western Digital have already been affected by component shortages, as have firms such as Pioneer, Sony, Canon, and Nikon. The Thai manufacturing facilities remain flooded, and observers say it is difficult to estimate when production might resume. (PhysOrg.com)(New Zealand PC World)(MarketWatch)

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