The global semiconductor chip shortage has jumbled supply chains for nearly a year now, and to many shoppers’ dismay, it won’t be sorted by this holiday season.
Those hoping to buy top new tech gadgets in November or December might be out of luck as major electronics brands are already struggling with shortages well before Black Friday—historically, America’s biggest shopping day.
Here’s a rundown of what’s running low:
- PlayStation 5 console: out of stock on company website
- Xbox Series X console: out of stock on company website (includes GameStop, Target, Walmart retailers)
- Xbox Series S console: out of stock on company website (includes GameStop, Target, Best Buy, Microsoft)
- Nintendo Switch OLED: out of stock on company website
- Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro: have gone in and out of stock in recent weeks. Company website has featured banners warning of long delivery windows or offering to join waitlists
- Apple iPhone 13: experiencing delays well into December for certain models, colors, and buyer locations, as reported by CNN Business
The chip shortage—which has crippled production of everything from computers to cars to kitchen appliances—now continues to threaten profits for big-name techmakers during what should be a comeback season for sales, but is instead stifling the holiday boost and slowing momentum for recent product launches. Samsung and Microsoft cited supply chain constraints on recent earnings calls; as did Apple, which revealed the chip shortage and COVID-19-related manufacturing disruptions slashed $6 billion from its revenue for the quarter that ended this October.
Analysts and some chipmakers have said they expect the shortage to drag into 2022, or even beyond: In an October earnings call, Intel executive Pat Gelsinger projected it could last until 2023. Recovery is complicated: Some buyers are hoarding chips while others are receiving delivery estimates as far off as 2024 for their orders, as chipmakers are grappling with raw material shortages themselves.
But don’t lose all hope. Retailers are attempting their best workarounds. Sony’s website currently lets shoppers register for “an opportunity to purchase” a PS5 by invitation, and Walmart and Best Buy are offering access to “restock events” for members of their subscription clubs. Amazon also has a notification program for high-demand items.