Tech Continues to Suffer from Shortages

It has certainly been a turbulent past year for many of us, and the same for business across the world too as those hardest hit are starting to come through the other side and a path to recovery seems to be laid out – but one space that could see an extended period of difficulty is within the tech sector as semiconductor shortages have led to a huge slow down in supply, with an ongoing cost of a quickly rising demand. 

The issues had come from two different directions – the first being the supply chain. Factories that produce the semiconductors are well oiled machines running twenty-four hours per day, every day, and making even small changes to the production line can lead to huge delays, but at the start of 2020 when the pandemic hit, the factories producing these semiconductors were forced to temporarily close, bringing a halt to the round the clock production. Whilst they have since re-opened again, falling behind schedule on the supply isn’t all that easy to catch up on with the huge manufacturing cycle and demand – and to make matters a little more difficult, many manufacturers even doubled their orders in hopes they’d have enough supply to outlast any potential shortage, which made matters worse. 

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The second problem came from growing demand – and there are certainly some more relatable changes that have been immediately noticeable. One of the bigger consumers, the automotive industry, has been heavily reliant on semiconductors for a long time to manage the growing electronics in vehicles and the push towards electric vehicles as a whole too and have been named as the hardest hit, but the most relatable comes from consumer electronics – and the holiday season gave a prime example. With gaming on the rise, whether through growing online genres and the likes of for example, through to the big triple A games, there’s a much wider audience, and the releases of the newest flagship consoles by Microsoft and Sony were a Christmas highlight for many, but the shortages particularly for the PlayStation 5 were quickly realised, and so much so that recently Sony had released a statement suggesting that the shortages for the consoles could last well in to 2022 as prices for the console continue to be pushed higher showing the very real world example of the shortage that many may have missed.

The game of catch-up is very much happening now, however, and the shortages won’t last forever – but there has been a huge increase in demand which could continue the strain for some time yet, and with upcoming releases and announcements set to be made with the likes of the new iPad and iPhone, you may have to wait a little longer than initially hoped to get your hands on the newest devices.

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