Qualcomm smartphones are the next devices to get hit by chip shortage

Qualcomm sign

Enlarge / A Qualcomm sign. (credit: Qualcomm)

We’ve already seen the global chip shortage hit cars, computers, and consoles. Up next, Qualcomm? A new report from Reuters gathers lots of quotes from the mobile industry that all basically say, “Yep, we’re running out of chips.”

Qualcomm has a lot working against it right now. First, like everyone in the electronics industry, the pandemic increased demand for all sorts of work-from-home gadgets and entertainment products while also occasionally forcing the shutdown of the factories that make those items.

Additionally, Qualcomm has to deal with increased demand thanks to the ongoing sanctions against Huawei. Huawei’s HiSilicon division was one of Qualcomm’s few Android SoC competitors (along with Samsung’s Exynos line), and Huawei has long worked to cut all US chips out of its supply chain. The US sanctions against Huawei have made it unable to get a steady supply of chips, and its market share has plummeted (even in China). The companies moving in on Huawei’s old turf are all mostly Qualcomm houses that don’t have a problem shipping US chips, so demand is up.

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