Summary Box: Thailand flooding could affect PCs

Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2011, file photo, factory workers join hands in stacking sand bags to make floods barriers at Nawa Nakhon industrial estate on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand. The deadly flooding in Thailand, a slow-motion disaster that's been rolling through the country since August, has hurt one of the region's biggest industries: computer hard drives. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong, File)
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FILE - In this Oct. 17, 2011, file photo, factory workers join hands in stacking sand bags to make floods barriers at Nawa Nakhon industrial estate on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand. The deadly flooding in Thailand, a slow-motion disaster that's been rolling through the country since August, has hurt one of the region's biggest industries: computer hard drives. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong, File)

ANOTHER SETBACK: Massive flooding in Thailand has curtailed production of a critical component for personal computers — computer storage drives.

THE SCOPE: Factories producing a third of the country's hard drives have temporarily closed as flooding has gradually spread since August. Prices have spiked, and Apple warned that its Mac products will likely be affected. Computer manufacturers, the companies that supply hard drives and the makers of components for those drives are all bracing for troubles.

UNKNOWNS: What extent PC production lines will be affected and whether PC makers will absorb costs or pass them along to consumers.

PAST TROUBLES: The PC industry is already facing dampened demand, and the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan hurt supplies of memory chips.

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