With the post-COVID-19 “back to normal” technology manufacturers are running into a new problem to deal with: chip shortages . A lack of supply worldwide is having interesting effects in the technology sector, such as delays in production or increased sales costs.
Chips, after all, are the brains of any minimally “smart” tech product . From a smartphone or computer to an autonomous car. The manufacturers of these components are among the first on the assembly line and largely depend on whether the rest of the production goes ahead or not.
Chip shortage for the entire tech industry
According to different sources and analysts to Reuters , there is currently a new shortage of chip production . There are several factors why this shortage is occurring and also the most varied.
First, Reuters notes that the main reason we are experiencing this shortage is the low investment by manufacturing plants in new technologies for more advanced chips . Many factories are struggling to keep up with the demand for chips they are having, even more so now that 5G is developing so much.
On the other hand, there are political factors such as the trade war between the United States and China . With different sanctions and vetoes ( the one from the United States to Huawei stands out ) so that they stop using American technologies, for example, chip manufacturers have to devise to design and manufacture them through other means. Speaking of Huawei, there are also curious strategies to grow more than the competition by buying chips “in bulk” from manufacturers and not according to demand, thus causing other manufacturers to have difficulties in launching their products as there are not enough chips.
Finally, Reuters highlights situations as curious as a fire in a chip factory in Japan leaves the chip industry dwindling. It can also affect a strike in France or, as we have already noted, COVID-19 lockdowns.
This kind of component supply shortage isn’t unique to chips. In the past, there has been on occasion the lack of NAND memories, for example, causing price increases in storage devices. Another curious case is that of OLED screens, with Samsung and LG as one of the few with factories and the capacity to produce them. This caused at the time that Apple paid millions to LG to build their factories as long as they produced the screens of the iPhone with OLED panel (from the iPhone X onwards).