Retail channels of HDDs in the Taiwan market will lower prices by about 10% at the end of April in order to adjust inventories and promote sales. Pricing for a 3.5-inch 500GB model is expected to drop from NT$2,200 (US$75) currently to below NT$2,000, according to industry sources.
Industry sources indicated that global supply of HDDs in third-quarter 2011 was 170-180 million units and from the current market conditions, supply in second-quarter 2012 is expected to reach 140-150 million units. In addition, global supply will likely return to 170-180 million units in the third quarter. Nevertheless, due to increasing costs, it is unlikely pricing will to return to the level before the flooding in Thailand in October 2011.
With the introduction of Intel's new platform and the expected launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 in October, demand for HDDs is likely to return to normal as customers in the PC market are expected to switch to new models.
HDD firms have been conservative about the outlook of the PC market in 2012 because of the debt problems in Europe and the US. However, industry sources noted that the second half of the year almost always performs better than the first-half, and 2012 is likely to be the same. The conservative outlook for the market is also due to the impact of tablet PCs and other smart devices on the PC market.