Samsung warns of severe chip crunch, will likely skip the Galaxy Note 21 this year


Samsung Electronics Co warned it’s grappling with the fallout from a “serious imbalance” in semiconductors globally, turning into the largest tech big to voice issues about chip shortages spreading past the automaking trade.

Samsung, one of the world’s largest makers of chips and client electronics, expects the crunch to pose an issue to its enterprise subsequent quarter, co-Chief Executive Officer Koh Dong-jin stated throughout an annual shareholders assembly in Seoul. The firm can be contemplating skipping the introduction of a brand new Galaxy Note — one of its best-selling fashions — this year, although Koh stated that was geared towards streamlining its lineup.

Industry giants from (*21*) AG to Renesas Electronics Corp. and Innolux Corp. have in latest weeks warned of longer-than-anticipated deficits because of unprecedented Covid-era demand for all the pieces from automobiles to sport consoles and cell gadgets. Volkswagen AG stated this week it’s misplaced manufacturing of about 100,000 automobiles worldwide. In North America, the silicon scarcity and excessive climate have mixed to snarl extra manufacturing at Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. The concern is the crunch, which first hit automakers laborious, might now disrupt the a lot bigger electronics trade.


“There’s a serious imbalance in supply and demand of chips in the IT sector globally,” stated Koh, who oversees the firm’s IT and cell divisions. “Despite the difficult environment, our business leaders are meeting partners overseas to solve these problems. It’s hard to say the shortage issue has been solved 100%.”

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, is working with abroad companions to resolve the imbalance and avert potential setbacks to its enterprise, its co-CEO stated. Its shares slid 0.6% in Seoul on Wednesday, whereas suppliers and Asian chipmakers together with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and SK Hynix Inc. additionally fell.

Chipmakers like Samsung and TSMC are at the forefront of a worldwide effort to plug a shortfall in provide of semiconductors, the constructing blocks of a plethora of client devices. The deficit has closed auto crops round the world and now threatens provide of different merchandise. While the Korean firm is the main maker of made-to-order silicon after TSMC, it depends on exterior suppliers and producers for sure components like energy administration and radio chips.

Larger-than-anticipated Covid-era demand for smartphones has additionally stretched shops of Qualcomm Inc.’s Snapdragon chips, the go-to processors for cell gadgets. Qualcomm designs the chips, often called app processors, however depends on Samsung and TSMC to provide them and the Taiwanese chipmaker’s capability has been strained.

“The tightened supply of Qualcomm AP chips produced by TSMC is affecting everybody except Apple,” stated MS Hwang, analyst at Samsung Securities. “PCs will soon be hit due to the short supply of display driver ICs, and the profitability of TV will be affected by soaring LCD panel prices.”

Compounding issues, Samsung’s personal manufacturing acquired sideswiped final month. Its fab in Austin, Texas — which makes chips each for inner and exterior consumption — was sidelined in February by statewide energy outages and hasn’t resumed full manufacturing. The ensuing shortfall in manufacturing of Qualcomm 5G radio frequency chips may cut back world smartphone output by 5% in the second quarter, analysis agency Trendforce estimates. But the outage there’s likely to have an effect on Samsung’s mid-tier telephones and laptops greater than its top-of-the-range fashions or server chips, stated Greg Roh, a senior vp at HMC Securities.

“If Samsung is publicly talking about future products, you know that the silicon crunch is serious,” stated Avi Greengart, analyst and founder of consultancy Techsponential.

Carmakers acquired hit first by the chip crunch partially as a result of of poor stock planning and are anticipated to overlook out on $61 billion of gross sales this year alone. Honda Motor Co. on Wednesday stated it will quickly droop some manufacturing subsequent week at a majority of US and Canada crops, underscoring the deepening disaster.

Some analysts say shortages may get largely ironed out in coming months. But the concern is that tight provide in sure segments — similar to in additional mature semiconductors the place it takes time to construct capability — may ultimately throttle the broader client electronics trade and jack up costs if it persists. Semiconductors at the moment are close to the prime of official agendas from Washington to Brussels.

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At the similar time, China’s insatiable urge for food for chips — fueled partially by its speedy restoration from the pandemic — and stock stockpiling by native firms is fueling demand. Sales for the nation’s chip trade climbed 18% to 891.1 billion yuan ($137 billion) in 2020, China Semiconductor Industry Association Chairman Zhou Zixue instructed a convention in Shanghai Wednesday.

“The IC shortage will be a problem to frustrate the supply chain in next six months,” stated Charles Shum, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.

On Tuesday, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co — the assembler of most of the world’s iPhones — joined a refrain of trade executives stressing it’ll take time to resolve imbalances in demand and provide.

“We see a shortage, we feel it. But the impact for most of our customers is not that big,” Hon Hai Chairman Young Liu instructed reporters in Taipei. “For certain customers that have better than expected orders, then there’s some impact. For major customers that plan well, where there’s no big surge on orders, those customers are doing fine.”

Koh stated Samsung might resolve to not introduce its Galaxy Note throughout 2021’s second half, breaking a years-long streak of annual launches for the marquee line. The Note sequence contributed roughly 5% of Samsung’s smartphone shipments over the previous two years, IDC estimates, however accounts for a extra vital chunk of income as a result of it’s one of the priciest in the lineup.

“Note series is positioned as a high-end model in our business portfolio,” he stated. “It could be a burden to unveil two flagship models in a year so it might be difficult to release Note model in 2H. The timing of Note model launch can be changed but we seek to release a Note model next year.”


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