Thailand floods may hurt shipments, increase prices for PC makers

The devastating flooding in Thailand could hurt HP, Lenovo, Dell and Microsoft during the fourth quarter of this year, IDC said in a recent report. The research firm originally projected shipment growth of 5.1% for the PC industry during the quarter but it now expects PC shipments to fall between 2.2% and 3.4%. Moving into 2012, IDC said shipments could drop as much as 13.4%. “A lot of these plants are still under water, and it’s unclear how much damage they will find when the water recedes,” IDC analyst Loren Loverde explained in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s also unclear how quickly the cleanup can begin and how much time it will take to bring in replacement parts to rebuild.” A recent report from Goldman Sachs also suggested that PC shipments could drop 8.5% during the first quarter of 2012. Hard drive manufacturers Western Digital and Seagate Technology both have plants that were flooded in Thailand. Seagate’s CEO Steve Luczo told Bloomberg that hard drive prices from his company could jump $10 to $25. “If you’re thinking of buying a laptop for Christmas, I’d buy it now,” Luczo suggested.

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