PC makers turning to gray market for hard drives

It's no secret that the flooding in Thailand has had a disastrous effect on hard-drive supply, causing shortages and hiking prices. Now, DigiTimes says PC makers have gotten so desperate to stock up that they've turned to the gray market, using unofficial channels to get their hands on remaining drives:

The sources described the brand vendors going into a "panic" to fill their HDD inventory. Most have repeatedly placed orders to HDD makers with combined volume already double or even triple their usual demand, but since HDD makers can only reply that they have no more inventory, or cannot provide their supply status, the vendors have turned to the gray market.

That reported rush has been so extensive that, according to the supply-chain sources quoted by DigiTimes, gray-market prices for 320GB and 500GB drives have roughly doubled. The site quotes figures of around $60-70 for 320GB models and $100 for 500GB drives.

Yesterday, DigiTimes reported Western Digital and Samsung wouldn't be supplying hard drives to the Taiwanese channel this month. The shortages have affected everyone, though, and things must be tough for PC makers around the globe.

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