Nvidia, Microsoft Supply Chains Start to Recover

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Microsoft and Nvidia both released statements today claiming recovery in their supply chains following Chinese efforts over the past few months to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country and reopen factories. This follows recent announcements from both Intel and AMD reassuring customers of an adequate processor supply going forward, which could leave Apple, still impacted by reliance on non-Chinese suppliers, as the odd producer out as we enter spring 2020. 

Speaking to CNBC earlier today about whether Microsoft could still hit its promised deadlines for the upcoming Xbox Series X as well as certain new Surface devices, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “The supply chains are all coming back. That is not our real issue. I think the bigger issue is what happens in Europe, the United States and other developed markets in the demand side going forward. But we feel good about where we are.”

Nadella did specify that “we’ll have to check back on it,” when talking about hitting specific launch deadlines, so it seems like delays could still be in the cards. 

However, he again stressed that “on the supply side we are getting back on rails,” and cited Microsoft’s ability to meet work-from-home demand as proof before closing the topic, ending on customer safety as his top concern.

This mirrors statements from a fireside chat Nvidia held earlier this afternoon, where management reported that supply chains are due to recover 70 - 80% by the end of the quarter, with the majority of that recovery focused on personal computing. Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress also pointed to increased demand for laptops, especially in China, as a sign of market recovery, while pointing out that increased work-from-home demand has helped the company actually see profit in the laptop, mobile and virtual GPU, desktop, workstation and cloud platform sectors. 

The World Economic Forum released a report yesterday seemingly backing up both company’s claims, citing China’s recent lack of new coronavirus cases and loosened quarantine restrictions as signs of potential OEM recovery.  According to the report, not only are most shops and restaurants reopening, but OEMs are also experimenting with chartered buses and planes to replenish their workforces, as well as exploring new labor options, like automation, and temporarily moving salaried staff to production lines usually reserved for hourly workers.

COVID-19 is expected to continue to hit the Western world hard through the next few months as states like New York and Michigan begin to enforce shelter-in-place rules. However, with the virus’ country of origin experiencing recovery in both supply and demand due to experiencing and consequently mitigating the virus first, hopefully the hardware industry doesn't have to wait that long to return to business as...mostly...usual.

Michelle Ehrhardt

Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.

  • mihen
    So they haven't really learned their lesson here and plan to continue relying on a single supply chain going into the future. They even fell for the propaganda that China has the pandemic under control. They just stopped testing for the virus and haven't been reporting on the actual impact its having. This is why they kicked out journalists earlier.
  • bit_user
    mihen said:
    So they haven't really learned their lesson here and plan to continue relying on a single supply chain going into the future.
    That would be a longer-term project. Right now, I'm sure they're just trying to meet existing commitments.

    mihen said:
    They even fell for the propaganda that China has the pandemic under control.
    Huh? Such a pandemic isn't something you can hide. Even in China. There's no way they're covering it up.

    What China is actually doing is quarantining everyone who enters, in order to avoid re-importing the virus.

    Also, they just re-opened Wuhan, the province that was the epicenter of their outbreak.

    Might want to rethink where you get your news...

    mihen said:
    This is why they kicked out journalists earlier.
    No, it was supposedly a response to the US labeling 5 Chinese news outlets as Foreign Missions. However, I'm sure it had to do with a lot of things, not least of all recent coverage of the Uighur camps in Xinjiang. China also reacted harshly to a recent WSJ op-ed that labelled it "the sick man of Asia".

    It's really not surprising, though. If you look at it from China's perspective, most of the news reported by foreign journalists has been negative towards it, lately. Not to say I think the journalists are biased, when actually, a lot of negative things have been happening there.