We've already seen the impact of flooding in Thailand on hard drive prices. That's likely to continue this year, with one analyst suggesting drive prices for consumers will rise between 10 and 15 per cent by 2013.
Coughlin Associates notes that while demand for drives is still strong despite the rise of SSD, production capacity simply can't keep up:
We believe that the results in the Thailand flooding will likely be about 20-30% average price increases over the average sales price (ASP) of HDDs before the flood through most of 2012. With consolidation and continued shortages it is expected that average HDD prices could be 10-15% higher than before the flood in 2013 and later years which will benefit the capital equipment industry for HDDs.
10 per cent is not an outrageous increase, and drive capacities are already so large that it would be hard to argue a hard drive is poor value. But if you are in the market for a drive soon, accept that it might not be quite as cheap as in the recent past.
Coughlin Associates (PDF)