The chip shortage has been felt almost everywhere – gamers can’t find the latest consoles or newest GPUs, homeowners are struggling with low inventories of common electronics from computers to TVs, and consumers are having trouble finding the phones they want. Those problems have been exacerbated by new COVID variants (especially the rise of Delta this summer) and now the arrival of the holidays. When will it end?
Samsung is providing detailed estimates about just when it could finally stop. According to The Elec, the President of Samsung Mobile, TM Roh, met with the leaders from more than 30 of its major component suppliers to talk about the future of Samsung phones, and just when availability issues can be solved.
From what sources report, Samsung was clear that we should expect shortages to continue into 2022, and gradually ease up after the first half of the year.
That’s not a huge surprise. Other brands have also indicated they expect manufacturing supply problems to last through part of 2022, but it’s still useful information for anyone wanting to buy a Samsung Galaxy or similar model.
The meeting is also reported to have included several measures to address supply issues, including:
- Preparing for higher prices from foundry manufacturers, which have an edge in these market conditions (unfortunately, this could also lead to higher prices down the line for customers).
- Stocking four weeks’ worth of chip inventory for phones, as opposed to the previous strategy of two weeks.
- Seeking new annual contracts with specific production capacity requirements well beforehand.
Where is Apple in all this, you wonder? Apple’s manufacturing strategy has helped shelter it from the storm compared to many brands. Apple maintains very strict control over its manufacturing contracts (something it seems like Samsung is trying now) and is careful to prepare for each new release of iPhones, iPads, etc.
Fortunately, Apple’s direct ordering process also gives accurate arrival estimates, and iPhones are generally shipped as soon as they become available.