IF you’re thinking of getting a new laptop or smartphone, you might be wondering how its price will be affected by the chip shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The global shortage has forced tough times on most electronics manufacturers as they struggle to find raw materials, cope with factories forced to shut for a long time, and disruptions to supply chains.
That long pause caused by the pandemic measures and the increase in demand for electronic products as more people were working from home, have aggravated the semiconductor crunch.
“It is difficult to anticipate where the price of electronic items will land,” says Giacomo Dalle Vedove, who is in charge of international growth for European consumer electronics rental business, Grover.
Comparing Prices Of Electronics
Grover recently released its Electronics Price Index 2021, comparing the cost of frequently used electronics in 50 countries.
The findings showed that Argentina was the most expensive country to purchase electronics, whereas Hong Kong offered the cheapest options.
Taking the example of the Apple iPhone 12 with 128GB internal storage, the median price would be around US$995, but you would pay 162% more in Argentina, at $2,651. On the other side of the globe, you could get it for about a third of that price, at $835, in Hong Kong.
Of the Southeast Asian countries surveyed, Indonesia was the most expensive, at $1,155, followed by Singapore ($1,017), Thailand ($973), Vietnam ($966) and Malaysia ($864).
The full survey is available at this link.
The reliance on technology will continue to grow as it intertwines itself with our lives.
And, along with it, the demand for chips will continue to rise.
“In terms of which countries will be worse off, emerging markets in Asia such as China and Southeast Asia are more vulnerable, particularly if the trend in semiconductor shortages continues,” Vedove reckons.
“Currently, it is difficult to say how long these supply chain challenges will persist; the global supply chain is incredibly fragile at present and the impact of the pandemic could easily be compounded should another variant mutate.”
Buy Or Rent?
Which raises the question, what is the more efficient way of procuring new technology? To buy or rent it?
Instead of constantly keeping up with trends by buying the latest release and losing a lot of money on your previous purchase, renting has its advantages, as it allows you to try a device and upgrade it or stick with it.
“This will drastically reduce waste and mitigate the impact of supply chain shortages,” Vedove explains.
Grover’ business of renting consumer electronic products is currently available in parts of Europe and the USA. Grover aims to have 5 million products in circulation by the end of 2024.
“The Asia-Pacific electronics rental market is projected to be a key player in the electronics rental markets in the near future, mainly due to the prominent industry presence in China, Japan and India,” Vedove says.
When the chips are down, it’s time to go fishing for new opportunities.