Apple’s a master of the supply chain, keeping just a couple days’ worth of inventory at stock any time under the mantra that any product in a warehouse is just costing the company money. The benefit of all of this is Apple is able to manage its supply chain with laser precision, deliver new products quickly and on-time without worrying about selling out existing inventory and save millions while doing so. But when something unexpected happens, Apple can find it doesn’t have enough inventory in stock to fulfill demand. Apple’s just been hit by the rare downside to the way it handles its supply chain. The hard drive shortages caused by massive flooding in Thailand over the past few months have finally caught up with Apple, delaying built-to-order iMacs with two terabyte hard drives.   Luckily, hard drives smaller than two terabytes are fine. Also, Apple’s hardly alone in having a hard time securing the drives it needs. In fact, the Thailand floods have had one positive upside for computer users around the world, in that it has spurred computer manufacturers to adopt MacBook Air style SSDs, which are faster and less prone to damage than spinning drives. That’s a really good thing, because the more manufacturers are spending on SSDs, the quicker and faster SSD technology and storage capacity will catch up with traditional HDDs, all the while prices fall.

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