Why Hard Drive prices are going (way) up.


Approximately 65% off all hard drives are made in Thailand; another 20% have components made there as well.  A single facility in Bang Pa-In owned by Western Digital produces one-quarter of the world’s supply of “sliders,” an integral part of hard-disk drives.

A goal partially submerged on a flooded football field in Bangkok's suburbs. Reuters/Damir Sagolj

Since July’s flood, I have received notifications that prices have an immediate price increase for external hard drives but it will be less noticeable for laptops and desktop computers due weakened demand. According to the New York Times, those companies whose facilities were not damaged, such as Seagate, might see an increase in profit margin to about 30 percent from about 20 percent before the floods. Actually, Seagate’s share price has increased 60% in one month!

Seagate share price

If you have been planning on getting a new hard drive, buy it now. If you are shooting HDSLR video or are planning to start anytime soon, you will need a faster, bigger hard drive, buy it now.

For video editing, make sure that you get a 7200 RPM (not a 5400), and that it comes with more that one USB and/or Firewire port. These ports can break, and if that happens, your data will be trapped inside. Not a good day.

Keep in mind that ALL hard drives WILL die, it’s not a matter of if but when. So far I have been very happy with my G-Tech G-DRIVE 3TB External Hard Drive, which I use to keep all my video files, and my G-Tech G-DRIVE 500GB Mini which I use to create a weekly bootable disk image of my laptop with SuperDuper just in case something terrible happens.

Updated on Tuesday, November 15, 2011.
A Hard Drive I had in my Amazon shopping list went from $129.92 to $138.35, almost a 7% increase in only 4 days!