Prices of hard disk drives have gone up by 20 percent across the country. The rise is the highest in Delhi at 26 percent and lowest in Bangalore at 11 percent.
The prices have gone up mainly because of the shortage of 20 GB HDDs in the market. Says Dharmendra Baid of Mega Byte Corporation, “Seagate 20 GB HDD is currently being sold at Rs 4550 as against July last week’s price of Rs 4100 — a hike of 11 percent.”
Prices of Maxtor HDDs too have gone up. Cyberstar Infocom, Maxtor’s distributor pointed out that HDDs were sold at Rs 4000 in July and are currently out of stock.
In Delhi, HDD prices have risen to Rs 4,800 for the 20 GB HDD, which was available for Rs 3,800 on till June. However Bharat Bhushan of RR Systems is optimistic that the prices will not cross the Rs 5,000 mark. “The effect of price changes in 20 GB is greater because it has the highest demand,” he adds.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai market has reported a hike of around Rs 700 for 20 GB HDDs. According to resellers, the hike in price is caused by the shortage.
Conjecturing about the shortage, MS Bhalla, Product Country Manager, Samsung cites three reasons. The first is Maxtor’s shifting its entire production line from 20 GB per platter to 40 GB per platter. “Usually the shift to a new technology happens in a phased manner, but they have done it in one go. As a consequence the yield rate is very low, because drives rolling out initially are unstable. And all that is being produced is being consumed in the US market,” he says.
He adds that the other two reasons could be due to the shutdown if Western Digital and Seagate’s decision to shut down its Malaysia plant on June 30. This plant was manufacturing 1.5 million drives per month.
Samsung HDDs too are in short supply. Says a Mumbai-based reseller, “Shortage in Samsung HDDs is because of its inability to meet the shortfall created by Seagate.” However officials at Samsung say that the company has increased its supply by 20 percent and will continue to do so as long as its facilities can support it.
Most resellers are of the opinion that hard disk manufacturers treat India as the last option for their supply. “The preference for supply of hard disk goes to those countries where they get dollars,” says one reseller.
Partners say that hikes in prices is an annual phenomenon during the November-December period. But this year it has happened early. “This happens because OEMs in USA and Europe start manufacturing for the Christmas buying. This puts a pressure on the market and goods are diverted from here creating a shortage,” explains
Bhalla expects the situation to normalize by August end, but adds that this is also when the Christmas demand in the western market goes up. So the shortage in supply could continue till January.
With additional reporting by Mohit Chhabra in Delhi and Nelson Johny in Mumbai