Even Intel, a company often unshaken by unfavorable market conditions, is being hit hard by the current hard-drive shortages. The chipmaker announced today that its revenue for the ongoing quarter will fall below expectations. Intel previously anticipated Q4 revenue of $14.7 billion, give or take $500 million, but it now expects that figure to be $13.7 billion, plus or minus $300 million. Gross margin may be as much as half a point below guidance, too.
The announcement doesn't beat around the bush regarding the cause. "Sales of personal computers are expected to be up sequentially in the fourth quarter. However, the worldwide PC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases as a result of hard disk drive supply shortages," it says. Intel adds that it's bracing for continued drive shortages in the first quarter. Supply will recover "during the first half of 2012," however.
Those Thai floods have certainly had a disastrous effect on the PC market. Last week, IHS had to revise its forecasts for quarterly PC shipments through the end of 2012. The market research firm now believes first-quarter shipments will add up to 3.8 million fewer units than predicted, and shipments for 2012 as a whole are now expected to total 376 million, almost 6% below the previous estimate of 399 million.