I bought a new phone just last year, and it was – for the time – cutting edge awesomeness (LG V60 ThinQ, coupled with an LG DualScreen case). It has the 5G goodness I was looking for, plenty of speed, nice battery life. Basically, it just does everything I ask of it, and more.
As for my console gaming needs, which are pretty modest, I have two solutions: A Nintendo Switch (also only a year old), and a RaspberryPi 4 based retro gaming setup, using RetroPie to drive the buttery retro gaming goodness. They are way more than I need for my console peasant gaming, as my tastes in this regard are modest.
Now my laptop is a bit long in the tooth, as far as PCs go, but again, it is more than I currently need. I can wait a year or two more to upgrade, assuming there is no catastrophic failure along the way.
Anyway, what’s the point of all this? Simple. The demand for semiconductors remains sky-high right now, due to shortages in that industry due to the pandemic, which show no signs of abating anytime soon. Basically, it is Hell out there right now if you are in the market for new tech, as everything from cars to refrigerators are stopping production, due to simply not having enough silicon to finish their highly-computerized machinery.
This is a huge downside to the “Smart House” concept that started a few years back, but the barn door is already open now, there’s no point in crying about the lost horses. It is what it is.
Of course, this is also causing big issues for tech manufacturers, as phones, computers (both for CPUs and GPUs), and gaming consoles all need these chips to make them work, obviously. No semiconductors, no tech, it is just that simple. Plus, you have the added issue with scalpers buying up CPUs, graphics cards, consoles, and whatever else they can get their hands on, as soon as they release, and it is now pretty much impossible for the average gaming and/or tech enthusiast to obtain new devices and parts, without spending thousands of dollars extra in Scalper Mark-up prices.
In short, they can rob you blind.
This problem won’t be resolving anytime soon, as the pandemic continues to rage on unabated, the battle between various tech and manufacturing companies for the limited supply of semiconductors fiercer than ever, and absolutely nothing is being done about scalpers. Unless you manage to buy a new phone in-person at a store, the likelihood of actually getting one is low. Same for computer parts, as it is actually much cheaper right now to just buy pre-built from a reputable PC manufacturer, than to build your own. Finally, unless you absolutely must have a Smart Appliance (refrigerator, oven, TV, etc), let alone a car, you are probably better off buying something gently used, maybe a few years old. They are easier to find, will save you a ton of cash, and should serve you well for many years.
Luckily for me, though, I have no need at this moment to buy new tech, although I am considering a new TV in the next year, and may consider a new laptop in a couple of years. But since these are both devices I can’t really build myself, and are less likely to be hoarded by scalpers (at least currently, anyway), I’m not to worried about it, for the moment. My concern is this:
What if the pandemic doesn’t end anytime soon?
First we heard it would just be a few weeks, if we all pitched in and wore our masks… which didn’t happen (thanks, assholes!). then it was just a few more months, maybe a year, until the vaccines were able to be released… as long as we all wore our masks and took the vaccines when offered to the public (again, thanks a lot, assholes!). Now we are looking at a pandemic that shows no signs of ending, possibly for several more years to come, due to variants that are spreading faster, and are potentially resistant to the vaccines.
… all because of some assholes that still fight wearing masks, and won’t take the vaccines (that aren’t perfect, but at least they would have slowed the spread and helped save those who get sick). This has allowed the virus to spread, and for variations to appear, leading us to the quandary we are in now!
Yes, it is all your fault.
Anyway, this is making for a real problem in the tech industry, which is only going to get worse as time goes on. So I hope you like your current phone, your current gaming rigs, and your current car, or you have way too much spare money in which to buy new stuff from scalpers. Because otherwise, we are all stuck for the foreseeable future with what we currently have.
Wear your mask. Social distance. Get vaccinated.