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Smartphone makers are only getting 70% to 80% of their component orders due to a global chip shortage, but Apple inc's iphones are barely affected, according to a new study.
There were reports in the middle of the month that Apple was also starting to feel the effects of the global chip shortage, but was doing better than its rivals thanks to planning ahead.
Market Research firm Counterpoint Research today lowered its forecast for global smartphone shipments to 1.41 billion units, up 6 percent year on year. That comes after Counterpoint Research forecast global smartphone shipments will grow 9% to 1.45 billion units this year.
"The smartphone industry is poised for a strong rebound this year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the market hard in 2020," Counterpoint Research said in its report. Starting late last year, smartphone makers placed large orders for components. In the first quarter of this year, depressed consumer demand boosted the market."
"But then, some smartphone Oems and suppliers reported that they only received 80 per cent of orders for key components in the second quarter. In the third quarter, the situation appears to have gotten worse. "Some smartphone manufacturers say they are only getting 70 percent of orders for components, which is causing a lot of problems."
According to Counterpoint Research, 90% of the smartphone industry is affected by these problems. "The semiconductor shortage seems to be affecting all brands in the ecosystem," said Tom Kang, Research director at Counterpoint Research. Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi have all been affected. As a result, we have lowered our shipment forecast. In contrast, Apple seems to be the most resilient and least affected by AP shortages."
Counterpoint Research does not say how Apple has avoided shortages. But previous reports have suggested that Apple may be stockpiling a lot of inventory because of its purchasing power.
Semiconductor shortages have plagued the market since the fourth quarter of 2020, Counterpoint Research said in its report. But despite shortages of components such as DDI (drive circuits) and PMIC (power management integrated circuits), the smartphone industry has grown largely by planning ahead, ordering ahead and stockpiling certain components, such as AP and camera sensors, that are often much more valuable than DDI or PMIC.
While contract factories have been operating at full capacity in recent quarters, semiconductor shortages continue, so the smartphone industry is also suffering as inventories are bottoming out and new component orders are not fully filled, Counterpoint Research said.