Reporters for DigiTimes have broken the story that multiple notebook component suppliers are suffering serious shortages … which means notebook manufacturers like Dell, HP and others will have to suffer through shipping delays. Of course, the bottom line is that customers will have to suffer the most. The parts shortages are coming just in time for "back to school" buyers leaving students without notebooks for class.
image courtesy of silicon.com
Everything from LCD display panels and batteries to circuit boards and optical drives seem to be in short supply at the moment. Acer is reporting shortages of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia while both Acer and HP are reporting shortages of 12.1" notebook displays.
When Will Things Get Better?
As if to add insult to injury for customers, Compal Electronics is reporting that "component shortages should persist through October" and leading notebook battery suppliers Dynapack International Technology, Celxpert Energy and Simplo Technology Company aren’t expected to supply enough batteries to keep up with demand until 2008.
Who is to Blame?
Some experts are blaming the parts shortages on the unexpected growth of demand for notebook computers around the world. Others are blaming manufacturers such as Dell for keeping only 1-2 weeks of parts inventory on hand … the "lean" manufacturing policies such as only ordering parts as you need them may indeed have contributed to the delays we’re seeing now.
Of course, if you recall anything from your Economics 101 class you should remember what decreased supply and increased demand means for consumers. If demand remains robust and supplies short, prices will likely be forced up a bit … just in time for the holiday buying season.