The recent flooding in Thailand is expected to cause a shortfall in the PC market of some four million systems in the coming months.
Research firm IHS iSuppli said that the natural disaster had impacted electronics manufacturing shipments in the country, leading to a shortage of hard disk drives (HDD) that will in turn prevent vendors from being able to meet their shipment goals.
"The PC supply chain says it has sufficient HDD inventory for the fourth quarter of 2011," said IHS compute platforms senior principal analyst Matthew Wilkins.
"However, those stockpiles will run out in the first quarter of 2012, impacting PC production during that period."
For the first quarter of the year, analysts expect PC shipments to drop from a previously expected 88 million units to 84.2 million. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, shipments are predicted to fall by 11.6 per cent.
For the full year, IHS predicts that total PC shipments will reach 376 million, down from an original estimate of 399 million units.
The company believes that the HDD shortage should end by the third quarter next year.
Natural disasters have had a major impact on both the consumer and enterprise electronics industries this year. The March earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan hobbled the semiconductor industry for much of the year and forced a number of companies to lower their financial estimates.
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