Chip shortages may constrain smartphone launches

“A wave of new smartphones and other mobile devices is expected to hit the market this fall, but there is some concern that there might not be enough chips for those products available to meet demand,” Benjamin Pimentel reports for MarketWatch.

“The next few weeks will see a slew of announcements about new devices. Samsung and Sony lifted the wraps on new smartphones on Wednesday, and Nokia, Motorola and are expected to do the same next week,” Pimentel reports. “This all leads up to the much-anticipated announcement of Apple’s iPhone 5, which many expect to happen on Sept. 12.”

MacDailyNews Take: Some lead-up that is. It’s like paving the path to Fallingwater with dog shit.

Pimentel reports, “But the industry is bracing for a potential shortage of the high-end chipsets needed to power these devices. Two weeks ago, Qualcomm CFO Bill Keitel told attendees at an investment conference that the company was ‘disappointed that we can’t meet all the demand customers have on the time frame they have placed it on us. But having said that, given that situation, we are doing all we can to ramp the supply as quickly as possible.’ Qualcomm makes key components such as baseband chips, which serve as the modem for mobile devices, as well as application processors like its Snapdragon line, which are used to perform the major tasks on smartphones and tablets. Qualcomm supplies baseband chips for Apple’s iPhone 4S, while Snapdragon is used in other smartphone and tablet devices.”

“The shortage is due to an industry shift, in which Qualcomm is one of the leading players, to a 28-nanometer production technology process,” Pimentel reports. “Such shifts typically occur every few years in the semiconductor industry as chipmakers develop new ways to make smaller, less expensive chips.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. This kind of “news” leaks this close to every Apple product launch to help hype the demand because people are fooled into thinking there won’t be enough stock at launch.

    Tim Cook did a marvelous job last year of having ample 4s supply on hand. Because the lines were not as long (I walked in 3 hours after opening and got two without a problem), the pundit claimed the phone wasn’t selling well. Guess we know how that shoddy reporting looks now, hmm?

    I’m not too worried about these “constraints” unless it means that the demand is 2-3 times what it was last year. If that is the case, it is a good problem to have!

    1. I think the reality is the baseband chips are going to be fine. However if you are a “ME 2” junk peddler trying to push out your latest great Apple killer plastified box of shit that comes in a package like an iPhone, comes with a charger just like an iPhone, moves around on the screen like an iPhone. But please don’t confuse them with the iphone unless you want us to get sued by the people who make iPhones. In which case we will have no alternative then to tie things up in court and use the completely useless United States legal system where judges whose technical ability stops after they learned to tie their own shoes will preside. Then in the odd chance you win a judgement we will delay until we modified out shit box devices to look a little different and have a different model number so you can spend another 2 years chasing those models for infringement.

      People give Tim cook a bad rap for not being Steve Jobs, Its not his fault, there will only be one Steve Jobs. Tim Cook has been devastating to the “ME2” crowd tying up manufacturing and supply for other companies so that they don’t get anything they need.
      Try buying phone spec NAND in large quantity. Or camera chips or Hi-Red screens that don’t suck. Aluminum milling machines to make laptops or iPads etc. Its all good and getting better for Apple you had bet on Apple to have a contract of high quantity baseband chips for their launch of iphone 5. Paid in Full from the War Chest assembled by Jobs and Cook.
      The article was nothing more than setting expectations for companies to have excuses why their product failed. Its because Apple stole all the parts we needed etc. This is a precursor to those excuses.
      In the mean time Open up a sunday newspaper. Try to buy a mattress or an Appliance that does not come with some type of ipad knock off.
      better yet go to a big lots or any discount liquidator they have ipad knock off that they sell for 60 bucks. its a joke Oh MY did all of these Apple Killers wind up in the trash heap?
      My worst fear and what saddens me most is that all this toxic materials and plastic will wind up in a land fill. Not very green at all. Lastly 400 years from now when these landfills are excavated for artifacts what will they think about us based on this shitty tech? Buy an iPhone and iPad and save the environment from all this toxic crap!

  2. I’m Disappointed in MacDailyNew’s take. They are normally insightful and clever. Apparently they had nothing to say so went for the forth grade potty humor.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.