Thailand ready to provide drives for Windows 8
Since the flooding last year in Thailand, there has been concerns about the disk drive manufacturing industry in Thailand. They were supplying 40 to 50% of the worlds disk drives. And the picture about shows the impact to all industry in the county. Knowing someone there has caused an increased interest in the problems associated with all the flooding. It has been a year since the flooding and it is starting to look like Thailand is set to resume their role as a primary hard drive supplier for the world. They have many large companies using the city of Bangkok to produce a variety of drives.
All of this is looking good for Bangkok, though some recent reports about a drop in exports could be seen as a problem, in the disk drive sector, that is going to be changing soon. Tablets have been the rage for the past few quarters and laptops along with desktop computers have suffered in their sales. That weakened demand looks like it will be ending at the same time as Bangkok is completely recovered from the devastating floods of last year.
And the time could not be better. With Microsoft preparing to release Windows 8, their latest OS, there is going to be holiday demand for computers this year. Windows 8 is new and very different from anything that Microsoft has released in the past. While it may seem like an experiment, it is bound to create a lot of demand for computers this holiday season. And with that demand, there will be a need to provide a lot of disk drives for those laptop and desktop computers.
The predictions from iHS shows continuing increases in disk drive demand for the next 5 years. While there are the needs of laptops and desktop computers, there is also the need for solid state drives (SSD) for all the tablets which are expected to roll out, including Microsoft’s Surface tablet. And that one is expected to sell very well. With rumors of an Apple iPad Mini and other rumored tablets, demand looks good for the 4th quarter and well into next year.
All of this means that Thailand is going to be able to put the problems with the flooding in 2011 behind them and return to their leadership roll in providing drives to the world. But, there are still concerns about possible flooding this year. Not all the repairs to the flood channeling systems have been completed and if they have another heavy rainy season again this year, there could be more flooding problems in the industrial districts. Much of the work done has been to raise the walls of the flood channel to 5.5 meters. That is 1 meter higher than the maximum water level last year. And they are continuing to work on other areas to complete the work. It is a very large undertaking.
It is hoped that the demand for computer drives grows as expected as it will put Thailand’s manufacturing back into high gear and help the recovery in their economy.