If you want electronics in your bucket, be prepared to be flexible in your designs and brands. Increased demand and global chip shortages have emptied the shelves of large electronics stores.
Consumer electronics stores selling will leave this year for the Christmas season in uncertain moods. There would be enough demand but no products.
A person planning Christmas gift shopping should prepare for a consumer party in the worst case scenario: you may not get everything you want. And even if it does, the wait can go a long way.
Where from then is there a shortage at the moment? A little about everything.
“It depends a bit on the manufacturer and model. Televisions in certain model series are under the rock. There are also challenges in mid-priced Android smartphones, vacuum cleaners, separate ovens and dishwashers, among many manufacturers, ”says Gigant’s Sales Director. Niko Sandström.
The same is said by the commercial director of Verkkokauppa.com Vesa Järveläinen.
“There will always be some smartphones available, but if you want a handset of a certain model, color and gigabyte, it may not be. There are already big problems with the Iphone: we don’t seem to have an Iphone 11 at all. The Iphone 12 is also pretty much under the rock. ”
In addition, Järveläinen mentions PC components and especially video cards.
“There’s really a lot of demand for them among players, but there just aren’t products. Of course, we have been wrestling with this for how long. ”
Great demand can be roughly explained by two things: the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recovery.
“The coronavirus pandemic has created a strong peak in demand as demand has returned after a difficult time. In a short time, we will try to do the work that was not done last year, ”sums up the Chief Economist of the Technology Industry. Petteri Rautaporras.
At the same time, demand is supported by the fiscal stimulus.
Responding to demand, on the other hand, is hampered by a problem that has been talked about for a long time: chip shortages. As the world becomes more digital, semiconductors are everywhere. However, production capacity does not currently meet demand and there is a shortage of raw materials for microcircuits.
During the shortage, car manufacturers in particular have been left behind, but others also wrestled with the same problem.
“Where there is electronics, there are semiconductors. The challenges of the availability of certain components can very widely disrupt the production of the manufacturing industry, ”says Rautaporras.
Read more: The global shortage of semiconductors also strikes Finland. HS went through the main causes of microchip shortage.
A kind of the Grail of Consumer Electronics is the Playstation 5 game console.
The console went on sale in November last year, but some consumers are still waiting for the product they ordered last Christmas.
“Probably the most anticipated product of Christmas,” Järveläinen of Verkkokauppa.com describes.
“We know that it really isn’t going to get as much as there would be demand for it. In general, the availability of game consoles is and will be poor, whether it is old or new. ”
Read more: Christmas presents are worth a tip this year even before Midsummer. The situation on the Playstation 5 is almost hopeless.
In many in the product, however, the consumer is willing to be flexible.
Gigantin Sandström gives an example: Many suppliers of laptops are in a very uncertain situation. However, a similar product can be found if one is not obsessed with one brand and model.
“Yes, we always have computers available, but if you want a certain brand and a certain model of machine, you may have to wait for it.”
The Playstation 5 is a different matter, Sandström admits. “If you want it, then there is no real substitute for it. I understand that. ”
So if flexibility with Christmas gift shopping is out of the question, there are two options left: waiting or using.
“You have to act as soon as there is stuff for sale somewhere. All Playstation Fifths that are obtained are currently sold out in hours. ”
Global chip shortages are projected to continue well into next year.
“Many products are basically at the global level at the end. This will continue for the rest of the year, and my own guess is that this will even become more common. The number of products available will be more limited than in a normal situation, ”says Järveläinen of Verkkokauppa.com.
“We try to prepare for the unexpected movements in the industry to the best of our ability, but we still have limited opportunities to make an impact when it comes to popular consumer electronics products.”
The Iron Industry Stage of the Technology Industry believes that when the situation eases globally, it will also ease in Finland.
“Finland is not in an exceptionally bad position, although we are not in a better position than average.”
This nothing can be saved by Christmas if Christmas is condensed on a game console or a certain model of iPhone. Everything has still been done for what has been done for the season, Sandström says.
“It’s not everything we would have liked, but there are enough products to sell.”
Preparations for the Christmas season are clearly earlier than normal. At Verkkokauppa.com and Gigant, the supplier network has been expanded and orders have been brought forward. The goods have been hauled from where they were obtained.
However, Järveläinen says that the consumer electronics industry is “quite dynamic”. There may be changes in availability, even on a fast schedule, that you can only try to anticipate.
“Let’s live with a little excitement.”