SAN JOSE, Calif. – Prices of hard disk drives are on the decline following floods in Thailand, but they are not yet at back at historical levels, according to an executive with one unauthorized distributor.
"We've seen a lot of calming in the entire situation in the last couple weeks," said Lee Ackerley, a director and co-founder of N.F. Smith & Associates (Houston), an independent component dealer. Prices "have come back down and evened off, but they are not back to original prices," he said.
It could take until after the holiday buying season before anyone knows at what point shortages will abate. The floods also affected some sole-sourced resistors and capacitors used in hard disks and cars, he said.
"The PC industry definitely showed agility moving from one [hard disk] density to another, quickly specifying other parts according to their availability--it was pretty impressive," he said.
Last week hard drive maker Western Digital reported it has been able to re-open one of its Thailand facilities. It also raised its quarterly earnings forecast to $1.8 billion from 1.25 billion.
Meanwhile, Ackerley is forecasting a solid year in 2012 for Smith & Associates with plans to open new offices in Sao Paulo and India. "It's finally reached the point where it makes sense for us to have our own office there," he said.
The operations will initially be modest sales and warehouse facilities for the private company that employees 320 people and has annual revenues hovering around $400 million. "We are pushing to take the company to a billion dollars the by end of the decade," he said.