Apple's MacBook Air has 'fortuitous timing' in face of hard drive shortage

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
A global shortage of traditional, spinning hard disk drives has coincidentally come at a time when Apple's flash-based solid-state MacBook Air is one of the company's most popular products.



The success of the redesigned MacBook Air has come with "fortuitous timing" in the face of the hard drive shortage, analyst Rob Cihra with Evercore said in a note issued to investors on Monday. He believes Apple is largely insulated from the ongoing component constraints, caused by flooding in Thailand that has affected hard drive makers Western Digital and Seagate.



Apple's MacBook Air features only NAND flash for storage, relying on solid-state hard drives rather than traditional spinning hard disk drives. NAND memory has been unaffected by the floods in Thailand, which have put more than 600,000 people out of work.



Cihra thinks the ongoing hard-drive shortage will create an influx of MacBook Air copycat Windows-based machines with solid-state drives in 2012. In particular, he sees PC makers gravitating toward Intel's struggling Ultrabook design specification, which aims to capitalize on the popularity of Apple's thin-and-light MacBook Air.



But Cihra expects Apple to counter with a refresh of its MacBook Air lineup in the first half of 2012. He also believes that the company's cash hoard will allow it to leverage "some unique NAND engineering/supply vs. vanilla (solid-state drives)."



Recent rumors have suggested Apple will add a 15-inch model to its MacBook Air lineup in early 2012. The company is reportedly looking to expand the lineup as the ultraportable notebooks now represent 28 percent of Apple's notebook shipments.







As for Macs featuring traditional hard drives, Cihra also thinks Apple is in a strong position there as well. He believes Apple was the quickest hardware maker to react with hard-drive suppliers, putting it in an advantageous position in the supply chain.



His take comes just a few days after AppleInsider was first to report that build-to-order iMacs with 2-terabyte hard drives have an estimated shipping time of 5 to 7 weeks. The apparent shortage of high-capacity drives for Apple's all-in-one desktop could be the first sign of the company being hit by a lingering global hard drive shortage.



Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook expressed concern about the hard drive shortage during his company's quarterly earnings conference call in October. While he was "certain" there would be an industry-wide shortage of disk drives, Cook said he was "not sure" at the time how the situation would affect Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    'hew' or Tim?
  • Reply 2 of 58
    The hell with international disasters, we fat Americans want our MacBooks NOW!! WAAAA!!
  • Reply 3 of 58
    I ordered my 27" iMac i7 with 2TB drive/2GB Gfx on Black Friday via Apple Store UK and it was delivered a week later. Looks like mine must've been among the last ones to get 2TB drive just in time!!! :-)



    Otherwise, 5-7 week delay would have been just too much!
  • Reply 4 of 58
    eideardeideard Posts: 427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    The hell with international disasters, we fat Americans want our MacBooks NOW!! WAAAA!!



    The Thai government was well aware of the shortcomings of their flood control system long before the disaster - and did nothing. Basic maintenance and clearing of the old systems could have prevented much of the damage and death.



    They chose to do little or nothing.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    "fortuitous timing"?? OR AN EVIL PLAN???



    Ah, probably just timing. Sorry, forget I mentioned it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eideard View Post


    The Thai government was well aware of the shortcomings of their flood control system long before the disaster - and did nothing. Basic maintenance and clearing of the old systems could have prevented much of the damage and death.



    They chose to do little or nothing.



    That would NEVER happen in the US :::coughKatrinacough:::
  • Reply 6 of 58
    But the guys stuck at Rojana Hi-Tech Industry Complex still have to eat somehow. And now they come up with an all-day fishing trip right in the factory. Most fish come out of fish farms. Locals went through them with nets but plenty of them still around in Ayutthaya.



    Want to grab your passport and try it yourself? No need to get serious; just a tropical fishing holiday on a budget, and local stalls and workers can cook your catch on the spot, yum!



    We have talipa, Chinese carp, catfish, snakehead just to name a few. If you are REALLy lucky you might hook a legendary Siamese carp size of two grown men, as well as new addition of alligator gars, courtesy to Thailand's exotic pet trades.



    Have your New Year travel plan? Here's the new fishing ground; Rojana Hi-Tech Industry Complex, Ayutthaya, Thailand. Come over before the water's gone!
  • Reply 7 of 58
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Fortune favors the prepared.
  • Reply 8 of 58
    I'd personally like to see Apple corner the NAND drive market for the next six months and see how well the competition fares without being able to get any storage. I'd like to see how anti-Apple media manages to claim that Apple will suffer the most during drive shortages. I hope Apple can keep up with demand if the Wintel notebook industry goes soft due to component shortages. It could sway a lot of fence sitters to get an Apple notebook if Wintel notebooks aren't available.



    As for the availability of hard drives, I sure hope Apple isn't shy in using some of that cash reserve to get hold of some hard drives for the iMac even if they have to pay a premium price for them.
  • Reply 9 of 58
    enzosenzos Posts: 344member
    The word is "fortunate", fortuitous means accidental.



    usage: The traditional, etymological meaning of fortuitous is ?happening by chance?: a fortuitous meeting is a chance meeting, which might turn out to be either a good thing or a bad thing. In modern uses, however, fortuitous tends more often to be used to refer to fortunate outcomes, and the word has become more or less a synonym for ?lucky? or ?fortunate.? This use is frowned upon as being not etymologically correct and is best avoided except in informal contexts.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eideard View Post


    The Thai government was well aware of the shortcomings of their flood control system long before the disaster - and did nothing. Basic maintenance and clearing of the old systems could have prevented much of the damage and death.



    They chose to do little or nothing.



    *cough* New Orleans *cough*
  • Reply 11 of 58
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eideard View Post


    The Thai government was well aware of the shortcomings of their flood control system long before the disaster - and did nothing. Basic maintenance and clearing of the old systems could have prevented much of the damage and death.



    They chose to do little or nothing.



    That sound exactly like the reports I read, post disaster, about a certain city's flood defenses in the USA!
  • Reply 12 of 58
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,483member
    I wonder f Apple have a price advantage over others in the purchasing of NAND due to their successes and commitment to MBA parts supplies even prior to this HD shortage? If so the opposition may have a tough time ahead of them and the oft quoted 'Mac price differential' will take an ironic twist in meaning.
  • Reply 13 of 58
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,824member
    Ha! You think that this whole happy confluence of events was not engineered in Cupertino? How deluded you are.
  • Reply 14 of 58
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    But Cihra expects Apple to counter with a refresh of its MacBook Air lineup in the first half of 2012. He also believes that the company's cash hoard will allow it to leverage "some unique NAND engineering/supply vs. vanilla (solid-state drives)."








    What "unique NAND engineering" exists? How do these drives differ from the "vanilla" drives?
  • Reply 15 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enzos View Post


    The word is "fortunate", fortuitous means accidental.



    usage: The traditional, etymological meaning of fortuitous is ?happening by chance?: a fortuitous meeting is a chance meeting, which might turn out to be either a good thing or a bad thing. In modern uses, however, fortuitous tends more often to be used to refer to fortunate outcomes, and the word has become more or less a synonym for ?lucky? or ?fortunate.? This use is frowned upon as being not etymologically correct and is best avoided except in informal contexts.



    I'm not sure if I'm fortunate or fortuitous in reading your etymological elucidation but fortunately I just woke up so it will probably pass away into the eternal bit bucket before I'm aware of what has transpired within my synapses.
  • Reply 16 of 58
    shaoshao Posts: 39member
    This would have been good timing when the production had halted. As it is, this is bad timing, since WD have just restarted HDD production.
  • Reply 17 of 58
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


    What "unique NAND engineering" exists? How do these drives differ from the "vanilla" drives?



    Yeah, im kind of wondering that myself. Apple doesnt use their own controller nor do they use a custom firmware for SSDs as far as i know.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post


    Fortune favors the prepared.



    Exactly.



    As once Einstein remarked, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."
  • Reply 19 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eideard View Post


    The Thai government was well aware of the shortcomings of their flood control system long before the disaster - and did nothing. Basic maintenance and clearing of the old systems could have prevented much of the damage and death.



    They chose to do little or nothing.



    Neither did the US government in New Orleans when they knew that flood defences were inadequate. A bit of the pot and kettle?
  • Reply 20 of 58
    .



    Damn - People are STILL using spinning discs ?



    Hey Folks - Welcome to the Digital Age



    CDs/DVDs/HDs/Floppys/etc - are SO Last Century



    .



    And 'fortuitous' or 'fortunate' ?



    Please - learn some Latin



    (or just use the Built In Apple Mac OS Dictionary App, duh)



    Where BOTH words come from



    Fortuna - Goddess of Luck or Chance









    .
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