The global chip shortage has affected everything from car production to PS5 replacements, but while the smartphone industry has been reasonably resilient, it needs to get worse according to a new Counterpoint report Research.
The shortage seems to be “hitting [the] the smartphone industry, ”and as such, the company is revising its estimate for smartphone shipments, from $ 1.45 billion to $ 1.41 billion.
This may not seem like a dramatic change, but keep in mind that the sales figures suppressed by coronavirus last year exceeded 1.330 billion, and you can see that this is not the rebound many would expect or hope for.
The report explains that supply cannot keep up with demand and notes that “some manufacturers and smartphone manufacturers report that they had only received 80% of the requested volumes in key components during the second quarter”. In the third quarter, the firm added, it appears to be getting worse, as some suppliers only receive 70%.
The report noted that 90% of the industry is affected, but the pain is not evenly distributed. “Semiconductor shortages seem to affect all brands of ecosystems,” said Tom Kang, research director at Counterpoint, which checked the names of big players like Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi.
There was, however, one company that seemed more immune than others: Apple. “Apple seems to be the most resilient and the least affected by the AP lack situation,” Kang added.
But even Apple has sounded the alarm that stocks may not flow as well as they would in normal times. In its latest call to investors, the company warned those in the call that growth could be affected by shortages. “We expect supply restrictions during the September quarter to be higher than we experienced during the June quarter,” Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said at the time. “The restrictions will mainly affect the iPhone and iPad.”
So far, as Counterpoint research suggests, the shortage of the iPhone 13 doesn’t seem to be a thing, but others haven’t been so lucky.
An earlier Wave7 report suggested that sellers were having trouble maintaining a stock of mid-range Samsung phones and OnePlus, and Google was forced to limit its Pixel 5a launch to just two territories: the United States and Japan. We expect Google Pixel 6 to arrive sometime this month, but we won’t be surprised to see it in short supply or be part of a staggered release when it finally releases.
Meanwhile, the fate of the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE – once feared canceled due to a shortage of chips – is once again in high doubt.
The ongoing chip crisis may mean phone makers need to be a little more selective on phones they prioritize in the short to medium term. Samsung, for example, looks set to be a pseudo reintroduction of the Galaxy Note (canceled due to a shortage of chips for 2021) as an Ultra model of the Samsung Galaxy S22, reducing five potential flagship devices to just three.