The global shortage of semiconductor chips that has been plaguing the automobile industry since last year has now hit the electronics industry as well.
Automakers alone could face a $61 billion hit in sales due to chips shortage, Bloomberg reported. While the impact on the electronics industry cannot be quantified yet, the report said it could be much larger.
Semiconductors are used to manufacture a number of electronic items, such as laptops, smartphones, cars and TVs.
Cristiano Amon, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Qualcomm, said the shortage in the semiconductor industry is "across the board", as quoted by the business news website.
"The virus pandemic, social distancing in factories, and soaring competition from tablets, laptops and electric cars are causing some of the toughest conditions for smartphone component supply in many years," Neil Mawston, an analyst with Strategy Analytics told Bloomberg.
Qualcomm, the world's biggest supplier of mobile phone chips, designs semiconductors and outsources manufacturing to companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
Smartphone maker Apple, a customer of Qualcomm, had also recently flagged supply constraints. On January 28, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Reuters that sales of Macs, iPads and the iPhone 12 Pro model had faced constraints.
He added that "semiconductors are very tight", but other parts of the supply chain also contributed to the constraints.
On February 3, Japanese electronics major Sony Corp it was struggling to build enough PlayStation 5 consoles due to shortage of semiconductors."It is difficult for us to increase the production of the PS5 amid the shortage of semiconductors and other components," Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki said at a press briefing, as quoted by Reuters.