Google delays low-cost smartphone due to chip shortage

13 September 2021

Google has pushed back the launch of a low-cost smartphone due to the global shortages of semiconductors. 

Google and Indian firm Reliance were due to launch the JioPhone Next on 10 September, to coincide with Diwali in early November, one of the biggest national holidays in India.

But the companies have delayed the launch to “​​help mitigate the current industry-wide, global semiconductor shortages”.

Meanwhile, Toyota announced it will cut its annual production target by 3% due to semiconductor shortages and rising Covid-19 cases in Vietnam and Malaysia, which have slowed factory output. This represents a cut of 70,000 vehicles. 

This comes after Toyota previously announced it was cutting its September production by 40%. The car company now expects to build 9m vehicles in the year to 31 March 2022, rather than 9.3m previously forecast. 

Toyota had previously managed to mitigate the impact of the chip shortage because it stockpiled semiconductors following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. 

Despite cuts in production targets, the company has not revised its predictions of achieving $22.7bn annual operating profit.

Companies across industries have been trying to mitigate the impact of global semiconductor shortages caused by the pandemic, as chip factories were forced close while demand for electronic devices soared. 

The world’s biggest semiconductor maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company announced it was raising prices, with chips used in car manufacturing expected to increase by 20%. 

General Motors announced it was closing 15 of its North America factories due to the shortages. 

US car production has dropped 72% year-on-year, with just under 1m new vehicles built in August 2021 compared to 3.58m in August 2019. 

In the UK the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has reported record lows for car production. 

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