Lenovo, the world’s largest computer manufacturer, has restated its belief that the global chip shortage will continue to cause problems for the foreseeable future.
During an earnings announcement, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqung said he stands by his earlier prediction that supply will not return to healthy levels until the first half of next year, and warned of “delays in order fulfilment and significant back-log orders across PCs, smartphones and servers”.
Despite the chip shortage, however, Lenovo reported a 65% rise in Q2 profit year-on-year, taking in $17.9 billion for the three-month period ending September 30.
Yuanqing attributed this growth to the company’s ability to secure a larger supply of components than other manufacturers, as well as its hybrid supply chain model, whereby components are manufactured in-house as well as sourced from external suppliers.
Holiday shopping under threat
Separately, the CEO of semiconductor design firm Arm, Simon Segars, has warned that chip shortages may result in disappointment for shoppers ahead of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday season.
The disparity between supply and demand is “the most extreme” it has ever been, explained Segars, who warned the consequences of the chip shortage may endure even until Christmas 2022, with the wait for some silicon sitting at 60 weeks.
“If you haven’t bought all your devices yet, you might be disappointed,” he said, speaking at Web Summit. “It has never been like this before.”
Segars says semiconductor manufacturers are spending billions each week in order to add capacity, both by extending current fabrication plants and building brand new ones.
However, there’s only so much optimization that can take place, and building a fab from scratch takes multiple years. No matter how much cash is poured into solving the shortage, there is no way of accelerating that timeline.
Given the chip shortage and supply chain disruptions are expected to create stock shortages across almost all device categories, buyers are advised to make purchases as early as possible to ensure products arrive in time for the holidays.