The global chip shortage is starting to have major real-world consequences | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

The global chip shortage is starting to have major real-world consequences

  • As technology has advanced, semiconductor chips have spread from computers and cars to toothbrushes and tumble dryers — they now lurk beneath the hood of a surprising number of products.
  • But demand for chips is continuing to outstrip supply, and car makers are no longer the only companies feeling the pinch.
  • Many companies — particularly those in China who have been hit by sanctions — are boosting their stockpiles of in-demand chips to try to ride out the storm, but that's making chips even harder to get hold of for other firms.

The severity of the global chip shortage has gone up a notch over the last few weeks and it's now looking as though millions of people will be impacted.

As technology has advanced, semiconductor chips have spread from computers and cars to toothbrushes and tumble dryers — they now lurk beneath the hood of a surprising number of products.

But demand for chips is continuing to outstrip supply, and car makers are no longer the only companies feeling the pinch.

Alan Priestley, an analyst at Gartner, told CNBC that the average person on the street is bound to be impacted by the chip shortage in one form or another.

"What it will mean is they can't get something, or prices are slightly higher," Priestley said during an interview on Thursday.

South Korean tech giant Samsung said last week that the chip shortage is hitting television and appliance production, while LG admitted the shortage is a risk.

"Due to the global semiconductor shortage, we are also experiencing some effects especially around certain set products and display production," said Ben Suh, head of Samsung's investor relations, on a call with analysts.

"We are discussing with retailers and major channels about supply plans so that we are able to allocate the components to the products that have more urgency or higher priority in terms of supply."

Samsung's co-chief executive and mobile chief, Koh Dong-jin, said at a shareholder meeting in March that there's a serious imbalance in supply and demand of chips in the IT sector. At the time, the company said it might skip the launch of the next Galaxy Note smartphone

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