PC Maker Warns Supply Chain Issues Threaten To Delay Intel And NVIDIA Gaming Laptops

XMG Gaming Laptop Launch
When it rains, it pours, eh? Finding a graphics card in stock and near its MSRP has been a near-impossible mission for way too many months now. High powered gaming laptops, on the other hand, have been more plentiful, or at least that was the case. Going forward, increasing supply chain issues could make those scarce as well.

We don't want to sound the alarm bell before it's time, but according to XMG, a popular PC vendor in Europe, newfangled gaming laptops announced at CES may not arrive for a bit. Specifically, XMG says gaming laptops equipped with 12th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce Ti graphics chips are the ones affected.

"While component and chip shortages primarily affected the desktop PC market last year, the situation now threatens to become more serious for laptop manufacturers following recent developments in China," XMG says.

The outbreak of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus has resulted in partial lockdowns in China. According to XMG, some factories in Suzhou have already closed, which will lead to supply chain and logistics bottlenecks, a shortage of certain components, and price increases, all of which are "on the horizon."

What about components that have already been produced? This is where the logistics issues come into play. As XMG explains it, limited transport resources results in components being stuck in limbo, resulting in "long delays" before they ultimately arrive at the next factory or destination country for sale.

"The logistics companies are already running at full capacity, which further fuels the increase of transport costs and makes the new laptop generations noticeably more expensive," XMG says.

In addition to partial factory closures and limited transportation issues, XMG says key components for laptop products such as power ICs are in "very short supply." This means they can only be procured in a "roundabout way...at a much higher purchase price than usual."

"At the moment, we are receiving daily updates from our partners and suppliers regarding the postponement of delivery dates. Sometimes these delays amount to several weeks," says Tom Fichtner, senior product developer at XMG.

XMG Neo 15 laptop
XMG's Neo 15 laptop with external Oasis laptop is still on track to ship in mid-March

Fichtner is based in Taiwan and "close to the production artery of the laptop industry," the insinuation there being that he has a pretty pulse on the situation. On the plus side, Fichtner says the Neo 15 laptop with Oasis liquid cooler (external) announced at CES is still on track to arrive in mid-March. However, certain other models "are still pending," including XMG's Fusion 16 and upgraded Pro series. He says it's not yet clear when they'll be available and at what price points.

Oh, it gets worse. XMG wraps up its somber announcement by saying SSDs are becoming more expensive, too. The PC maker pointed to chemical contamination in two joint semiconductor plants belonging to Kioxia and Western Digital, which wiped out at least 6.5 exabytes of previously usable memory chips. That's the equivalent of 6.5 million 1TB SSDs.

XMG's announcement is essentially a round-up of bad news within the supply industry, all of which point to gaming laptop delays. We haven't heard other vendors issue similar statements, so hopefully the situation as a whole will play out better than XMG anticipates.