Last year, as the world adjusted to the realities of working from home, many received a wake-up call when they went to buy a new laptop. Electronics retailers were facing a shortage of laptops due to the high demand. Now, the mad dash for work-from-home essentials seems to be over. So, why does it look like we will be facing a scarcity of laptops for years to come?
Previous Supply Chain Problems
When lockdowns began in 2020 grocery stores were flooded with customers, there was no toilet paper to be found, and the demand for teleworking essentials, like laptops, skyrocketed. Additionally, production slowed for many companies due to stay-at-home orders and distancing restrictions. Even with the return to a normal rate of production, companies are still operating at a deficit due to the massive uptick in purchasing from last year, with many companies now lacking the raw materials to make their products.
The Chips Are Down
Last year, there simply weren’t enough laptops to go around to meet consumers’ remote learning and remote working needs. Now, it’s one essential component of laptops that are in short supply: semiconductors, also known as chips. A semiconductor is typically made of silicon and is used to conduct electricity through an electronic device. They’re an essential component of laptops and the scarcity has caused significant price jacks to new laptops, which manufacturers say could last until mid-2023.
Other Affected Industries
The auto industry has also been hit hard by this chip shortage, forcing certain well-known companies, such as General Motors, to stop production in some of their plants. While many companies say this is temporary, it’s still a big blow to the auto industry as used car prices are currently reaching new heights. There is speculation that smartphone companies will be next to feel the effects of this global chip crisis.
Solutions On The Horizon
There is still hope!
Intel, a leading manufacturer of semiconductors, has committed $20 billion to build two chip factories in the US, with support from the US government through the introduction of the CHIPS for America bill in 2020. Intel also received support from European governments to support the chip factories. They plan to work with other large tech companies, such as Apple, who are beginning to feel the effects.
But I Need a Working Laptop Now!
While it’s encouraging that governments and corporations are taking steps to solve this shortage, we’re at least 2 years from this issue being resolved. Many are still working or learning remotely, and don’t have the luxury of waiting for prices to drop for a functional laptop. Fortunately, if you have an old laptop or desktop computer lying around, you don’t need to. You can breathe new life into your old computer with the StartMeStick!
The StartMeStick is perfect for:
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If you’ve already tried it please share your experience using the StartMeStick with us in the comment section below.