Experts and the media have been talking about the global chip shortage since the beginning of this year. Computer chips, also known as semiconductors or integrated circuits, have been integrated into almost every part of our modern lives.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, parts of the global economy shut down and are still not operating at their former capacity.
Combined with that economic decrease, new phones and electronics are using more computer chips than ever before. This is especially the case with 5G phones.
What we’re seeing in the chip shortage right now is the demand for computer chips eclipsing the supply.
3 Things To Know About The Chip Shortage
Companies can’t just “make more chips”
Computer chips need to be created in specific types of environments. Dust, temperature changes, and even static electricity can ruin a chip as it is being built. Making more isn’t as simple as setting up a factory and pumping out products overnight.
According to experts, companies making these chips are running at their full capacity, however, it will likely take months or even years before new manufacturing facilities will be able to fulfill the extra demand for chips.
Almost every industry is affected
Since computer chips are in nearly every area of our lives, that means almost every industry you can think of will be affected by the shortage.
For example, it has become nearly impossible to buy a PS5 gaming console. Car companies like Ford, Toyota, and Volvo have had to either slow down or temporarily stop automotive production and even Apple is warning that the shortage will likely affect iPhone production.
Expect price increases and delays
One of the biggest concerns for consumers is that chip shortages will result in price increases. We’re already seeing car prices increase by 8.4% compared to last year and other industries are following suit.
Computer and gaming components are being sold on sites like eBay for double their retail prices while wait times for new electronic devices keep getting pushed out farther.
Repair, Don’t Replace
Our recommendations to our customers are the same as they’ve always been: repair, don’t replace. That is going to be even more important as we ride out this chip shortage, which likely won’t improve until 2023.
While some phone repairs do require replacing a chip, many don’t. Instead of trying to get your hands on a new phone, consider repairing your current one. It could end up saving you a significant amount of money if you wait another year to get a brand new device.
Have a phone, tablet, computer, or other devices that need to be repaired? Come see us at The Lab and let us get your device back in your hands fast. We’re open 10am – 5pm Monday-Friday and from 10am – 2pm on Saturdays.