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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Notebook Computer Hard Disk Drives in Short Supply
  • September 16, 1998 (TAIPEI) -- Notebook computer hard disk drives reportedly are in short supply in Japan and the United States.
    IBM Corp., which supplied 40 percent of notebook disk drives in the first half of this year, said the rapid replacement of new products and production deficiencies were factors behind the short supply.

    Hitachi Ltd. and Fujitsu Ltd. of Japan also reported shortages of key components, but they said they expect the situation to moderate in the fourth quarter.

    The supply of 2-in. hard disk drives was especially erratic this year. IBM, which supplied 50 percent of demand to domestic OEM makers, confirmed the situation.

    An IBM Taiwan spokesman said the shortage started in April, when the company was still overcoming technical difficulties related to producing GMR disk drives.

    In the second quarter of this year, IBM supplied 70 percent of disk drive demand to domestic OEM contractors, indicating that there was a 30 percent undersupply in the second quarter and 20 percent deficiency in the third quarter.

    The company said it expects the situation to return to normal in the fourth quarter.

    Both Fujitsu and Hitachi experienced shortages in the third quarter of one of the key components for disk drives.

    The situation is not expected to return to normal until November.

    The fall in disk drive prices will continue despite the shortfalls, an IBM spokesman said.

    By contrast, there was an oversupply of desktop hard disk drives in the first half, forcing many makers to cut production capacity. Seagate, for instance, was forced to restructure operations.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Tue Sep 15 17:55:37 1998 PDT