PC component shortages lead to 'second-rate products'

Supply shortages for PC components following the Japanese earthquake have reportedly caused ‘second-rate’ components to enter the supply chain.

According to sources close to Digitimes, PC product manufacturers are being forced to take extra care over shoddy goods finding their way into computers – following what appears to be a relaxation in the level of quality to meet demand.

This lack of materials from traditional sources has led to “downstream component players” contacting suppliers that they would rarely cooperate with under normal circumstances, raising the likelihood of lower quality products being sold on.

While it is not thought that second-rate components are being found in components such as cooling modules, hinges or chassis, problems are believed to be seen in capacitors and chemical raw materials.

There are rumours of an increased ratio of defective power supply components, though industry sources informed TechEye that they were unaware of any such issues at the moment.

With regards to LCD display panel components, Azhar Mohd-Hashim, display analyst at Meko, told us that if production in Japan doesn’t begin to ramp up sufficiently, “many in the market could also be forced to seek out alternative suppliers soon”.

However, according to Mohd-Hashim, many firms currently have stocks that will last for another month at least, by which time production could be at sufficient levels, so there is no immediate danger of second rate components necessarily entering the supply chain, though it is a possiblity.