The Global Chip Shortage: Is It Really Over?

Image of a microchip, closeup

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By this point, you are most definitely well aware of the global chip shortage. After all, semiconductors are an essential part of most items that we use on a daily basis. Starting in 2020, a rapidly increasing demand and a slowed down supply have since resulted in disastrous consequences for an array of industries, causing car production to come to a standstill, delaying product launches and preventing businesses from recruiting new employees.

This was no less valid for the hearing aid accessories industry, causing a massive blow to the supply chain, with new products from almost all hearing aid manufacturers being postponed, including TV connectors, assistive microphones, and hearing aid chargers.

Arrow pointing down with image of microchips in background

So, has the situation improved since then?

You might have noticed recent statements that the global chip shortage is now resolved. In fact, reports have been showing that the shortage has now turned into a surplus. Whilst this may sound like good news, however, the situation is a bit more complicated than that.

One of the main reasons for the shortage to occur in the first place were rapidly growing demand levels. During the pandemic, purchases of electronic products such as personal computers and gaming consoles increased since implemented measures created the need for individuals to find a way to work, learn, and entertain themselves at home.

Middle aged man sitting behind desk, looking at computer screen, smiling

However, demand has now declined, partially because of the significant inflation for basic necessities like gas, energy, and groceries. Additionally, with the end of the pandemic and thus- the end of restrictions, people have begun to show a preference for purchasing services rather than goods. Statistics confirm this, indicating a 6.3% decrease in global sales of semiconductors in the third quarter of 2022 as opposed to the second quarter.

Additionally, due to over-purchasing, clients of microchip manufacturers have been hoarding extra supplies which they are now relying on, softening the demand even further.

Does this mean that the chip shortage is truly over? Not exactly. The answer depends on the type of chip, as well as its function and the industry where it finds application. While it is true that top-range chips such as the ones used in personal computers have experienced a dip in demand, those used in Apple products, as well as the ones used in the automotive industry are still in very high demand and experiencing difficulties with supply.

Hand of an employee working on microchip, closeup

But what does all of this mean for the hearing aid accessories industry? Realistically, only time can tell. Despite some negative impact remaining, the hearing instruments market in the UK is making quite a successful comeback, displaying a 13.6% growth in comparison to next year. Additionally, hearing loss is on the rise, which will lead to an increased demand for hearing aids, and consequently- hearing aid accessories. 

Meanwhile, semiconductor supply continues to meet difficulties, and while there is no certain way to resolve the microchip problem, businesses are beginning to consider innovative strategies such as better communication and increased transparency across the supply chain to prevent future disparities.

Concept image with characters representing chip manufacturers and buyers

We at Hearing Aid Accessories are aware that constrained access to hearing assistive equipment can have many adverse effects to the lives of those who need such devices on a daily basis. Because of this, we aim to increase accessibility to affordable hearing aid equipment of top-range quality. Happily, our wide range has remained readily available for you in spite of the worldwide challenges along the supply chain. Click here to browse our shop!

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