Summary Box: IDC expects Thai flood effect in 2012

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PC OUTLOOK: Research group IDC expects flooding in Thailand to hurt PC sales, but not until early next year.

WHAT’S THE IMPACT: The flooding has closed down factories making hard drives, a key component in many personal computers. IDC says Thailand accounted for up to 45 percent of worldwide hard drive production in the first half of the year, and nearly half of that capacity was affected by flooding.

BUT FOR THE HOLIDAYS?: Many of the personal computers that will be sold during the October-December quarter have already been produced or can be made with existing supplies of hard drives, limiting the disruptions.