The chip shortage may finally be easing for PC shoppers

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The chip shortage that’s been plaguing the IT industry for almost two years may be easing for PC (opens in new tab) shoppers, new research has claimed.

Market analysts TrendForce says that starting from November 2021, material shortages for PCs and laptops have been “partially alleviated”. As a result, the shipment volume of PC ODMs has been in an upward trajectory in the fourth quarter of 2021. 

Furthermore, the impact of under/oversupply of materials on end PCs and notebooks is “relatively minor”, the report states. With the exception of SSD PCIe 3.0 controller, which remains in short supply, current supply squeezes are due mostly to delays in the transition to Intel’s new platform.

Mobile components in short supply

As things stand now, the delivery cycle is anywhere between 8 and 12 weeks, while the supply shortages of Type C IC, WiFi, and PMIC seem to be “gradually abating”. 

Consequently, TrendForce expects notebook shipments from ODM brands in the first quarter of 2022 to “only” decrease by 5.1%. To put things into context, Q1 is traditionally part of the off-season cycle, so the slowdown in demand momentum is expected.

TrendForce has also analyzed the mobile phone (opens in new tab) market, saying material shortages have “gradually eased” from H22021, in part due to the discretionary adjustment of mobile phone specifications (brands can adjust their specifications and configurations based on materials available on the wider market). 

Right now, four key components are in short supply: 4G SoC, OLED DDIC/Touch IC, PMIC and A+G Sensor. When it comes to production in Q1 2022, TrendForce doesn’t expect things to change much, compared with Q4 2021. 

The final quarter of last year has had a “disappointing holiday demand”, resulting in brands needing to adjust the distributed inventory level of finished products. Production performance in Q1 2022 is expected to fall 13%, compared to Q4 2021.

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.