The prices of PlayStations and iPhones could rise this year due to a shortage of semiconductors due to an explosive cocktail: boom in demand for electronics, supply chains turned upside down by Covid and trade war, experts warn .
During lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers rushed to computers, tablets or game consoles, which work with chips.
Meanwhile, tech giant Huawei, seeing the worsening trade war between China and the United States, stocked semiconductors last year, increasing pressure on supply.
These tensions in the market became glaring when automakers sought to source more semiconductors, and realized that manufacturers were prioritizing consumer electronics.
The automotive industry is the most visible victim of the chip shortage to date, with giants like Ford and Volkswagen forced to cut production, but other sectors are also affected.
“The combination of the coronavirus storm, inventory spikes due to the trade war, and the paradigm shift of telecommuting is causing a shortage of semiconductors,” said Neil Mawston, executive director of consulting firm Strategy Analytics, to AFP. “Everything that has a chip is affected, cars, smartphones, game consoles, tablets and laptops.”
“Electronic goods and vehicles will be produced in fewer numbers and will be more expensive in 2021,” he predicts.