As people scramble for Black Friday deals, there is growing concern that some gadgets won’t be available for Christmas.
Silicon, found in most products, is in short supply due to high demand and production problems since the start of the pandemic.
The world now faces one of the most extreme chip shortages it has ever seen.
It means that people may be disappointed this year when it comes to giving and receiving technology as a gift.
The players face disappointment
According to tech experts Trusted Reviews, the Nintendo Switch is the UK’s most sought after piece of tech this year.
Earlier this month, Nintendo revised its sales forecasts due to the “effects of the global semiconductor shortage”.
ARM chip designers have warned that the shortage could delay Christmas gifts such as the Switch’s timely delivery and said that, in some cases, the wait for the chips takes 60 weeks.
The PS5 and Xbox Series X and Series S have been extremely difficult to buy since they launched last year. The demand for these new consoles would have been high regardless of the chip shortage. When refueled occasionally, they often run out within minutes.
The situation has created a community of console hunters who aim to identify those rare moments when supplies are delivered, so they can relay the news to their followers.
One is YouTuber Jake Randall, who claims to have contacts with many employees from various retailers, who tell him when new batches hit the stores.
Also look for clues on websites, such as Amazon which talks about console specials for Prime customers that can be quickly followed by new titles appearing online.
Jake told the BBC’s World Service Tech Tent: “It is extremely difficult to get a game console right now. This is probably the hardest it has ever been, even more so on launch day or even at the beginning of the year.
“Many people have been waiting for one because they thought it would be easier, but these companies can’t produce enough anywhere to meet the demand.”
The market isn’t helped by a community of people who use bots to buy consoles and sell them at inflated prices, he added.
Smartphone supplies are also striking
Apple’s iPhone is also a much desired gift for Christmas, after its latest-generation model was released in September.
The company recorded a 54% increase in turnover in the first three months of 2021, compared to the same period last year.
But he faced “greater than expected supply constraints” between June and September and said the chip shortage is now affecting “most products.”
Apple chief executive Tim Cook previously warned investors that this could impact iPhone and iPad sales.
There are also fewer phones available. Apple originally planned to produce 90 million iPhones in the last few months of this year, but cut that figure by 10 million because there weren’t enough parts available.
There are also reports that Samsung and OnePlus are struggling to keep up with the demand for their phones.
Earlier this year, Google was forced to limit the Pixel 5a launch to just the US and Japan.
Good news if you want a laptop
However, there is some good news, as large online retailers seem to have stock of laptops and tablets.
The pandemic created huge demand for laptops, as people needed kits to work from home.
The technology company Philips also said that the memory chip makers were unable to keep up and that the ships carrying products were rescued in ports.
Laptop makers like Dell, Acer and HP claim to sell models as fast as possible, and with the recent launch of Windows 11, competition for shares is even fiercer.
However, Argos has assured its customers that they will have access to a range of offerings and products, although it has not provided guarantees.
“Availability in some product categories may vary, but alternatives are available and stores continue to receive daily deliveries,” a spokesperson said.
And Currys said it has “worked hard” to ensure its customers can get the products they want.
“Thanks to our preparations and strong relationships with the biggest brands, we already have more shares in the industry than last year,” a spokesperson told the BBC.
“There are inevitably some products that will be hotter than others, but we are confident that we will be spoiled for choice for everyone.”
When will this shortage end?
Experts predicted the shortage could continue for another year or so.
Pedro Martins, co-founder of IT company Totality Services, said: “The reality is that the silicon chip shortage has been going on for some time now, it just wasn’t visible to the general public.
“It is now more important due to the sheer volume of user devices requiring chips. In the past it was mainly servers, workstations and laptops that needed the chips, but that is no longer the case.
“The reality is that no one knows when the shortage will end, but it will undoubtedly improve in the short term.”
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This Article is Sourced from BBC News. You can check the original article here: Source