Global chip shortage: automakers to sex toys now feeling the pinch

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A global chip shortage has affected almost every kind of business from automakers to sex toy makers. The shortage came about late last year when automakers thought demand would dwindle due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But, they were wrong. And, other manufacturers took note of the automakers’ large semiconductor orders and decided to ramp up their own.

Home appliances, servers, sex toys and heavy equipment makers are dealing with the fallout over the shortage of chips, with companies that don’t usually use chips as their core business feeling the effects. The rise in demand in conjunction with the decrease in availability has increased prices and wait times for such goods, with businesses racing to acquire as many chips as they can.

Since the pandemic, forced lockdowns have seen an increase in demand for electronics, as people have taken to working from home and entertaining themselves at home (in more ways than one). The chip shortage has spared few companies with even some tech giants taking to mass buying to protect themselves from the US-China trade war. Microsoft and Apple have said hardware sales were affected by the shortage with tablets and laptops seeing the largest drop in sales.

A recent Goldman Sachs Group Inc. report says semiconductors are an important manufacturing component for 12% of the US gross domestic product.

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In Shenzhen, China, Petoneer has suspended sales of some pet gadgets, including a robotic cat toy after its chip supply ran out. A Petoneer sales executive says the company is looking into whether it can swap in types of chips that are more readily available.

Crave, Inc. a sex-toy company is being forced to redesign half of its products this year to adapt to the chip shortage. Its chief executive says a typical sex toy contains 30 different electronic parts, including chips. The company started stockpiling chips late last year as lead times started increasing. The chief executive says they are bracing for at least a year and maybe over 2 years for a shortage.

So, those who were looking for a new and improved way to pleasure themselves, the company says they are working to make sure its products will still be available.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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