The recent flooding in Thailand has affected Acer's supply chain of hard disk drives. (File Photo/Hung Hsi-lung)
Taiwan-based PC maker Acer plans to raise laptop prices in mid-November to reflect hikes in hard disk drive prices caused by a disruption to its supply chain in Thailand, where floods are ravaging the country.
"We will appropriately reflect a hike in hard disk drive prices on laptops," Acer chairman JT Wang said Friday at an investor conference. "The range will be in the hundreds of Taiwan dollars, depending on different product categories." (NT$100 = US$3.30)
Acer has been working very closely with suppliers to secure supplies of the component. The company expected its sourcing of hard disk drives to be hurt by the flooding in Thailand but could not assess by how much until the floodwaters recede.
"We can still get a certain amount of hard disk drives, and we will use them on some products with higher profit margins," Wang said.
Thailand produces roughly a quarter of the world's hard disk drives, according to research firm IHS iSuppli. Another researcher, IDC, has estimated that the flooding in Thailand will affect about one-third of the country's annual production of 120 million hard disk drives.
Wang noted that the 7-millimeter high hard disk drive used in the Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook is not manufactured in Thailand, so the recently launched product will not face shortages.
Acer plans to ship 250,000 to 300,000 of the S3 ultra-thin laptops in the fourth quarter of the year, and it expects the Ultrabook line to account for 25-35% of its total notebook shipments in 2012.
Currently Acer's S3 is priced at over US$1,000, higher than the cost of regular notebooks. The company expects the prices of Ultrabooks to fall to US$799-US$899 next year as it gains popularity with the public.