Samsung voices concern over global chip shortages, says it could delay 2021 launch
Semiconductor crunch is affecting supply of consumer electronics including game consoles
Samsung has said it’s considering skipping the launch of a new Galaxy Note phone this year, amid a global shortage of semiconductors which his is affecting the production of electronics.
The tech giant, which is one of the world’s largest makers of chips and consumer electronics, reportedly claimed that skipping 2021’s Note launch would be in consideration of “streamlining its lineup”.
However, Bloomberg reports that its co-CEO Koh Dong-jin also voiced concerns during a shareholder meeting on Wednesday over the “serious imbalance” of semiconductors globally, which he said is expected pose problems over the coming months.
Samsung’s comments make it the largest tech company yet to voice concerns over chip shortages affecting global production.
In the games industry, console manufacturers have struggled with stock shortages for a year now, after the Covid-19 pandemic shut down essential supply chains and demand for gaming devices increased significantly.
In particular, the recently launched PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles have been incredibly difficult to secure, with most online restocks selling out within minutes.
Last month the chip shortages contributed to President Biden signing an executive order designed to improve supply chains for “critical and essential goods” including semiconductors.
The order launched a 100-day review to address vulnerabilities in the supply chains of four key products: pharmaceuticals, critical minerals, semiconductors, and large capacity batteries such as those used in electric vehicles.
A previous Bloomberg report suggested that the current semiconductor shortage could see games console stock struggles last until Christmas.
It cited anonymous sources within supply chains, who claimed that “smaller-volume” buyers of semiconductors such as video games companies were losing out to tech giants in the race to secure parts.
AMD, which makes the chips inside PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, recently forecast supply issues through the first half of 2021.
In a recent interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan couldn’t guarantee the company would be able to satisfy PS5 demand by the 2021 holiday sales season, noting in a discussion with the Financial Times that “there are very few magic wands that can be waved,” although he said the supply situation will improve throughout the year.
Microsoft’s head of investor relations, Mike Spencer, has said the company expects Series X/S shortages to persist until the second half of 2021.
And last month, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa told investors that semiconductor procurement conditions would have “only a minor impact” on the company’s earnings for the current fiscal year ending in March 2021.