The last year or so has seen a series of major issues in the supply chain. Some have been caused by an irrational increase in demand, such as the hurricane prep-style shortage of toilet paper last year. Some have come from issues at California ports, locking ships offshore waiting to deliver products. But, the most noticeable challenge has come from chip production issues resulting in shortages. This week, two companies seem to be having competing experiences with these chip shortages: General Motors and Raspberry Pi.
A few weeks ago, GM announced that it was taking a hiatus from producing vehicles because it was not able to source the chips that it needs to finish the process. Unlike Ford, which had continued producing trucks and stashing them in parking lots, GM took time off during September to try and get caught up.
This strategy seems to have worked in the company's favor, as a new report claims that the company has managed to work through more than half of the backlog that had been built up. While some of the catch-ups can be attributed to the pause in new production while still receiving outstanding orders of chips, some of it is also likely because chip shipments have increased to the company.
Steve Carlisle, GM North America Chief Executive, has said that the goal of the company is to try and get through all outstanding shipments of the 21 model year trucks before the end of 2021. While trucks have been the hardest hit in this shortage, Steve Carlisle also notes that another 22 models will not be caught up before the end of the year, but hopes to clear that backlog shortly into 2022.
One of the tenants that Raspberry Pi has tried to live by since its public introduction has been maintaining the price of its computers. Every new model has managed to come with new features while staying the same price. This has consistently meant that, over time, the computers have actually gotten less expensive to purchase, relatively. Unfortunately, the company has finally gotten hit by the same chip shortages that have affected everyone from GM to Xbox.
While GM was able to shut down production for a little while, Raspberry Pi doesn't exactly have the same opportunity, as companies have built their products and prototyping upon Raspberry Pi. Because of this, the company has announced that there will be a temporary price increase, starting now.
The Raspberry Pi with 2GB of RAM is temporarily moving to $45 from the regular $35 price point. The increase is, of course, because of shortages and price increases caused by those shortages. Resulting from this price increase is a reinstatement of a former model: a Raspberry Pi 4 with 1GB of RAM. That older model will come in to take the $35 price point, meaning that those dependent on the platform and price point will not be left out in the cold.
The company expects the issue to last through most of 2022, at which time the original prices should be returned.