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Is There Really A Computer Shortage?

Is There Really A Computer Shortage?

In case you did not know, there was a computer shortage in 2020 due to the Covid -19 pandemic. Health officials nationwide alerted employers that employees should work remotely unless it was necessary to be onsite. At the same time, many schools across the country closed. Students K-12 had to start “remote learning” sessions and countless universities replaced in-person classes with online courses. This tremendously increased the demand for computers. Now it is 2021 and many people think computer supply is back to normal. Unfortunately, it is not and we will explain why. 

The current computer shortage is due to a semiconductor chip shortage. Semiconductor chips are necessary to create items with electronic components; from cars to cell phones and household appliances, and especially computers. Semiconductors are considered the “brain” component of these items. When the pandemic came about, the factories that make these chips temporarily closed for safety. This meant less semiconductors chips on the market. Simultaneously, the need for these chips became higher because the demand for semiconductor products was at an all-time high. Eventually the factories re-opened but lack of chip supply created a huge backlog of orders. 

To make matters worse, there were two recent setbacks. A semiconductor chip factory in Texas temporarily shut down due to abnormal extreme weather. Also, an electrical fault caused machinery to catch fire at a factory in Japan. Although these factories produce chips for automobiles, it added more strain to the entire chip industry. Consider the global demand for semiconductor chip products – just one computer may have several chips and it takes 12 to 26 weeks to create one chip. While building more factories is a logical way to solve the chip shortage problem, one factory costs over a billion dollar to construct and over one year to get it fully operating.

And, because there is a shortage of new computers, there is a higher demand for refurbished computers thus decreasing available inventory. Therefore, regardless of whether you’re purchasing a new or refurbished computer, the supply will be lower and prices will probably be higher. 

To recap, there is a global semiconductor chip shortage. This is causing a global computer shortage. It is also triggering a dearth of video cards, RAM and NAND (SSDs) especially at 1TB range. The nature of supply and demand means these product prices increase for you, the consumer. How long will this shortage last? Some analysts think it may take 1 year for manufacturing to catch up and an additional 6 months for companies to get to their normal stock levels. 

Call to Action: If you think you may need a new or refurbished computer, we suggest plan ahead and buy sooner than later. We at Cantrell’s Computer Sales & Service have been sourcing computers and computer components for our customers since 1998. Please call or text us (925)827-1200,or email us at, and let us find or build the best available computer for your unique needs.

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Cantrell's Computer Sales and Service
2280 Diamond Blvd., Suite 150
Concord, California 94520

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