The Chip Shortage Is Driving Up Tech Prices—Starting With TVs @Wired

Wired discusses the impacts of the current chip shortage:

Televisions, laptops, and tablets have been in high demand during the Covid-19 pandemic, as people worked and learned via Zoom, socialized over Skype, and binged on Netflix to alleviate the lockdown blues. But all that extra screen time also helped set in motion a semiconductor supply crunch that is causing prices for some gadgets to spike—starting with TVs.

In recent months, the price of larger TV models has shot up around 30 percent compared to last summer.

“Prices are definitely—unfortunately—going up,” for these components, says Michael Hurlston, CEO of Synaptics, a company that sells integrated circuits for controlling touchscreen displays to manufacturers of consumer electronics. “In certain cases we’re passing those prices on to our customers, and we’ve heard that they’re passing those increases on to their customers.”

“The word I’ve heard recently is that the inventories have depleted,” says Peggy Carrieres, a vice president at Avnet, an electronics component supplier. “So those new prices are going to hit into the retail outlets, and consumer consumption.”

The impacts have been felt beyond traditional consumer technology as well. Carmakers, in particular, were left flatfooted after expecting fewer sales. After preemptively canceling orders for semiconductor components, many auto manufacturers have had to stop production while they wait for supply reinforcements to arrive. Broader supply chain disruptions have hurt as well, including a fire in March that shut down a plant in Japan that makes a range of different semiconductor components—including display integrated circuits.

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