Supply chain delays may constrain launch of smartphones
Tech lovers are waiting in anticipation for a wave of new smartphones this autumn, following announcements about new devices by a number of major brands. However, members within the electronics industry are concerned that there may not be enough chips to meet the demand for these products.
Companies like Samsung and Sony have already announced new smartphones, and the likes of Nokia, Motorola and Amazon.com are expected to join the ranks and announce new devices soon. This is in addition to an anticipated announcement by Apple that their iPhone 5 is on the way, which is expected to occur this September.
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Despite these expectations, the electronics industry is bracing itself for a potential shortage of high-end chips for mobile devices, which is causing concern that even at full capacity the suppliers will be unable to meet demand.
Recently Bill Keitel, the CFO of the leading chip designer Qualcomm was quoted by Marketwatch as being “disappointed that we can’t meet all the demand customers have on the time frame they have placed it on us. But having said that, given that situation, we are doing all we can to ramp the supply as quickly as possible.”
A producer of key elements for the modems in smartphones and application processors, Qualcomm supplies chips for Apple’s iPhone 4S amongst other devices.
This shortage is thought to be due to an industry shift, where manufacturers are moving over to a different production technology process which allows developers to produce smaller, less expensive chips.
These changes entail capital and production costs, which often hurt margins in the initial phase of new process technology.
Graphic chip provider Nvidia also raised the issue this month, when CEO Jen-Hsun-Huang told analysts that the company was “expecting to be supply constrained.”
A major part of the shortage is the ability of foundries, which complete the manufacturers for chip designers. These foundries are often struggling to keep up with demand, as they have been struggling with rising tool costs and uneven demand.
SAP Ariba to digitise procurement for Expo 2020 suppliers
The global trade event, this year hosted in Dubai, was rescheduled from last year and will now take place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022.
As the event’s Innovative Enterprise Software Partner, SAP Ariba solutions will fully digitise and automate the procure-to-pay lifecycle, providing a streamlined experience for thousands of market leading, global suppliers and strengthening the global supply chain with enhanced transparency and efficiency. The cloud-based platforms operate through on SAP Ariba’s UAE public cloud data centre and connects to the Ariba Network.
Expo 2020 "a long-term investment"
Mohammed AlHashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai, said the world trade event is “a long-term investment in the future that aims to enhance opportunities for sustainable business connectivity and growth”, which stretches beyond Expo 2020’s six-month window.
“Our partnership with SAP is an example of what can be achieved with the invaluable support of our technology partners to host one of the most digitally advanced World Expos ever,” he added. “The implementation of SAP Ariba solutions has transformed our end-to-end procure-to-pay cycle and helped set new standards of procurement automation for projects of this scale.”
To date, more than AED 1bn has already been transacted by Expo 2020 suppliers through SAP Ariba. The platform promotes collaborative partnerships and allows registered users to participate in sourcing events, negotiate and initiate contracts, and centralise their invoicing and payments in real time.
Claudio Muruzabal, President of EMEA South, SAP, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is demonstrating global best practices in digitising its procurement process with SAP Ariba solutions to help gain visibility into its spend, tighten collaboration with its suppliers, and achieve process automation, including completely paperless invoicing.”
About Expo 2020 Dubai
Expo 2020 will take place in Dubai and is the first of the long-running World Expos to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia territory. The original World Expo, called the Great Exhibiton, was hosted in 1851 at the Crystal Palace in London, designed as a showcase for the innovations of the Industrial Revolution.
Expo 2020 was originally due to run 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021, but was last year postponed in light of COVID-19 restrictions - though some business has already taken place virtually. The event will place greater emphasis on innovation in sustainable solutions through the Sustainability District, blending technology and culture. It is expected that around 70 per cent of the 25 million attendees will be international visitors.