These are bad times for processor manufacturing, or at least that’s what is leaking out from the industry. Qualcomm is having a hard time meeting the demand for processors, both for smartphones and other devices, due to a shortage that has been going on for months.
The information is provided by Reuters from sources within Qualcomm and Samsung, two technology giants that base their business to a greater or lesser extent on the manufacture of processors and other chips. Samsung smartphones have both their processors and those of third parties such as Qualcomm, and it is those of the U.S. manufacturer that are making their presence felt.
Qualcomm struggling to supply the smartphone industry due to chip shortage
A few months ago we reported on this shortage: at the end of last year, there were already delays in the production of electronic devices such as cell phones and computers due to this shortage. The cause: a “perfect storm”, due to a combination of low investment by production plants in new technologies for more advanced chips, political factors such as the trade war between the United States and China, specific incidents such as the fire at a chip factory in Japan, and the economic and production downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic (e.g. fewer smartphones being sold).
According to reports, demand for Qualcomm processors has soared in recent months partly as a rebound effect of Huawei’s complicated situation with the US blockade. This could be explained by studies such as the latest from Gartner, in which we saw that Huawei had the sharpest drop in sales, and it is precisely this that would be encouraging its competitors to try to satisfy all those users who are looking for alternatives in other brands.
According to one of the sources, coming from a Samsung supplier, the shortage of Qualcomm chips is affecting above all Samsung’s mid-range and entry-level models, precisely quite prolific ranges with continuous renewals. The brand boasted record quarterly revenues and blamed it in part on the pull of these ranges in markets such as India.
A few days ago it was Cristiano Amon himself, CEO of Qualcomm, who talked about the fact that in his opinion the shortage may last until the end of 2021. This is in tune with what Lu Weibing, vice president of Xiaomi, claimed in terms of “it’s an extreme shortage”.
We’ll see if he’s right if it’s something that holds throughout this year and if it has consequences on the availability of final products or manufacturers’ launches. For the moment, speaking of mobiles we are seeing a pace that does not seem very different from other years, with mobiles from the main brands in most ranges, so we will continue to keep an eye on the matter.