Apple Yawns At The Hard Drive Shortage Paralyzing The Rest Of The PC Industry [Analyst]

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Photo by mihimaru - http://flic.kr/p/4izA1j
Photo by mihimaru - http://flic.kr/p/4izA1j

Apple is relatively unscathed by the recent Thailand flooding which threw for a loop PC makers more dependent on hard drives. That’s the word from Wall Street analysts who say Apple’s move to flash memory saved the Cupertino, Calif tech giant from the fate of Intel.

Intel stock dropped 4.8 percent earlier this week on word sales by the giant chipmaker would be down until at least through the first quarter of the 2012 financial year. PC makers have been rushing to buy up scarce hard drive supplies after the July Thailand flooding. Thailand is the No. 2 global producer of hard drives.

“We think Apple will be the least impacted … if at all, given its ability to sell MacBook Airs and iPads,” Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes noted Tuesday night. PC sales in the fourth quarter are forecast to grow by only 4 percent, with 3.6 percent annual growth predicted for the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

As we reported earlier this month, Apple was forced to delay some Mac orders for up to seven weeks due to the shortage of hard drives larger than two terabytes. A rush of solid-state drive orders are happening as PC makers try to adjust to about half of Thailand’s hard drive plants shutting due to the summer flood.

All of which puts into perspective Apple’s recent $500 million acquisition of Israel-based Anobit. Anobit’s technology is used by Apple’s iPad, iPhone and MacBook Air.