Component shortages including display panels and circuits for LCD screens may extend the laptop shortage into the first quarter of 2021, according to a new report from Digitimes.
This runs counter to the publication's previous research, which estimated that increased interest in remote work and study would cause laptop shipments for 2021's first quarter to drop by less than 10% as opposed to the typical 15-25% of past years. Digitimes was even speculating that, due to the pandemic, global laptop shipments could "double on year due to lower comparison basis for first-quarter 2020."
Laptop shipments normally take a hit in the early year thanks in part to Lunar New Year festivities in China, which leave fewer workers to help make components. However, Digitimes' sources are now saying to expect an even more drastic decrease in "driver ICs, display panels and passive components" that could make the publication's predictions moot. Let's not even get into the possibility that laptops are being used for mining.
The sources didn't give many details to speak of in terms of numbers or root causes, but the sources did say that Chinese manufacturers are already planning to maintain a more standard workload during the Lunar New Year holidays to help counteract the supposed shortage. The sources also said ODMs are currently stocking up on supplier shipments to help offset shortage expectations that they're predicting will last throughout the year's first half.
This would also fall in line with Digitimes' data, which says that laptop keyboard, camera module and PSU suppliers saw their revenues hit record highs in 2021 and have clear order visibility through the second quarter.