Thai flooding leaves Apple with a shortage of 2TB drives

Hard drives are something we regularly take for granted in our computers, rarely considering their costs and availability. The flooding in Thailand has unfortunately put heavy strain upon the availability of hard drives, including the 2TB drives Apple uses for their iMac range it would seem.

The 2TB hard drives are available as an option in Apple's iMac desktop line, though adding them can also add to the delivery time for the machine to be dispatched to your house. According to the Apple website it could add anywhere from five to seven weeks to the delivery time due to the sheer difficulty of sourcing 2TB hard drives for the machines. Over 50% of all hard drives in the world are made in Thailand, so the massive flooding in the country has led to a shortage of drives.

The Mac Pro line can be outfitted with as many as four 2TB hard drives, though when doing this, the delivery time for the machine does not increase. This could be used to suggest that Apple are holding any 2TB hard drives they have available for usage in the Mac Pro line over the iMacs at present. If you are considering buying an iMac with 2TB hard drive it is worth noting that the 1TB hard drive can be used instead without an increased delivery time. Whether this would be deemed acceptable or not is another question entirely.

Speaking days after the floods struck Thailand, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the following:

"We source many components from Thailand. There are several factories that are not operable, and the recovery timeline is not known at this point."

Analysts estimate the recovery time could drag into 2012 Q1, though the hard drive shortage could be a problem since hard drives are used for servers holding websites. If these servers were not to be expandable there could be repercussions for the internet in general in the near future. If the recovery is correct this could be averted however, with the production of hard drives on the scale we have grown used to.

Currently, Apple uses conventional hard drives in their iMac, and Mac Pro lines (an SSD in the MacBook Pro is optional), having moved the MacBook Air laptops to solid state drives (SSDs), offering increased performance and durability. The iMac and Mac Pro could follow in the future, though SSD capacities are still smaller than those of the conventional drives. The Thai hard drive manufacturers seem to be recovering from the floods though, as Western Digital have resumed drive production. While other companies are still yet to resume production it does show that things are looking up, and the possibility that hard drive prices will deflate again.

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24 Comments

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I don't care if there are HDD shortages for a specific company. All I want to know is all companies are affected by this shortage. It doesn't matter if it is Microsoft's partners or Apple, The point is that everyone was affected by this and again, that is what I need to know.

im not buying this whole flooding and the outrageous prices for hdd's. they just know people are stupid and will pay whatever price. how about you start making the hardware in the US?

smooth3006 said,
im not buying this whole flooding and the outrageous prices for hdd's. they just know people are stupid and will pay whatever price. how about you start making the hardware in the US?

imagine the price now and then imagine when its made in us.. it will skyrocket.. its cheap coz its made in Asia.. low labor cost.

ultimatescar said,
imagine the price now and then imagine when its made in us.. it will skyrocket.. its cheap coz its made in Asia.. low labor cost.

You do realise that 99.999% of the production process is actually automated?

Inb4 "too many Apple articles"

Although I am wondering a bit why there is this sole article for Apple; pretty much every computer manufacturer is affected by the HDD shortage, not just Apple. Not just 2TB drives either; pretty much all of them.

MightyJordan said,
Inb4 "too many Apple articles"

Although I am wondering a bit why there is this sole article for Apple; pretty much every computer manufacturer is affected by the HDD shortage, not just Apple. Not just 2TB drives either; pretty much all of them.


Heaven forbid they have to change the website to NeoApple or NeoMac ROFLs.

ir0nw0lf said,

Heaven forbid they have to change the website to NeoApple or NeoMac ROFLs.

Lol. Seems like they need too. Lame.

By making it an "Apple" story, they fill their quota of "pro Apple stories" needed to keep getting Apple advertising dollars.

With Jobs out of the picture, all of the websites, magazines, and tech channels are having trouble keeping their Apple dollars coming in with positive stories, so they'll latch onto anything they can.

Hence the "Jobs once took a customer service call years ago" kind of stories on CNN the other day, etc.

Renvy said,
never by an iMac for this reason :
http://pearc.de/
Same hardware with Lion so much cheaper and legal!

legal? as in violating the EULA and possibly having your OS disabled by Apple in the future if they ever choose to do so? they can do that if they want to... just force an update that you have no choice in...

neufuse said,

legal? as in violating the EULA and possibly having your OS disabled by Apple in the future if they ever choose to do so? they can do that if they want to... just force an update that you have no choice in...

What world of fascism are you living under?

OSx86 is legal

neufuse said,

legal? as in violating the EULA and possibly having your OS disabled by Apple in the future if they ever choose to do so? they can do that if they want to... just force an update that you have no choice in...


I'm sure PearC will cover you for that. And violating the EULA is not illegal, (at least not in Europe).

I'm sure not many people are buying mac pro's or even with 4 2TB HDD's... and the people who are probably can afford to pay a little more for a shortage

Correction: Only the MacBook Air uses SSD drives by default. All other MacBooks use spinning hard drives by default.

iKenndac said,
Correction: Only the MacBook Air uses SSD drives by default. All other MacBooks use spinning hard drives by default.

Thank you for the correction! Article changed.