Manufacturing Is Vulnerable
This is probably one of the easier points to make. I assume that most of the readers are aware of the flood that recently hit Thailand. If you weren't aware of it, then just note that Thailand has suffered some fairly absurd levels of flooding during the last few months. While the humanitarian toll is the true tragedy, there was another unexpected effect on the rest of the world. Thailand was a major supplier of hard drives (providing nearly 45% of the world's supply). A large number of facilities are now flooded and badly damaged, which means that there's a shortage. For a more detailed look at the situation, we have a write-up on the Thailand flood's effect on hard drive prices.
Again, in the long run, the market will correct. New factories will open, old ones will be repaired, etc. In the short-term, this means that we're all going to be paying a more for hard drives for at least the next six months.
This is an endemic problem across all technology manufacturing. Suppliers are fairly concentrated, usually because it costs a lot to open these huge facilities full of incredibly complicated equipment. Semiconductors are another vital part for most computers and electronics. The two biggest suppliers (TMSC and UMC) are both based out of Taiwan, with several fabrication plants located in the country. There are other suppliers available, but it's the same problem as before. It takes a long time for adjustments to be made. One nasty storm or strike could shutdown a vital part of the process, and there's no option available but to slowly repair it once it happens.
Let's stop and take a moment to remember what has happened with oil. Crude oil is also a product with a lot of demand, it's expensive to refine into useful goods and producers are located around the world. Now, look at what happened around 1979, as Iran suffered a revolution and its oil supply become unstable. Even with other producers stepping in and ensuring only a 4% fall in supply, crude oil prices went up 250%. In a high demand industry, for a very useful product that's a pain to get, a minor disruption can cause a very large impact.
And it's not limited to just hypothetical disasters either. Some companies are just waiting for their breakdown. The ever popular Foxconn has a finger in a lot of pots. They're quite well-known for their role in assembling iPhones and iPads as well as Amazon's competing Kindle Fire, but they also make the Kinect for Microsoft and other products for giants like Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, etc. Foxconn are notorious for having poor labor conditions (any company that has to put in anti-suicide nets to prevent workers from leaping to their deaths needs to rethink their corporate culture).
This is a labor crisis waiting to happen. To clarify, the majority of our tech giants are dependent on Foxconn being able to continue their practices for the forseeable future. Since even heavily oppressed Chinese workers have started carrying out strikes against Foxconn and similar manufacturers, this, even if one puts aside humanitarian concerns, seems like a risk-fraught assumption.