It’s no hidden truth that laptops have been hot commodities for students during the pandemic, but that might just lead to calamity as school commences. Axios has found proof of acute laptop shortages going into the back-to-school-season, particularly for Chromebooks. Acer America president Gregg Prendergast warned that his company was not even able to supply enough of the Chrome OS laptops to support virtual classrooms. It wasn’t likely to taper off, either, as Acer just received government requests for hundreds of thousands of devices I California and Nevada.
NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker also warned that laptops have 20% to 40% higher weekly, while a hasty check of Best Buy’s site showed that 24 out of 28 low-cost (under $400) Chromebooks were sold out.
A series of factors have contributed to the deficit. Prendergast warned of supply chain issues ranging from individual parts to shipping – Acer is turning and adapting to air freight to bring laptops quickly to the US. And while some have already installed machines in their school to rely on, many of those systems have to be replaced due to heavy use.
The shortages could make it harder for some students to commence classes on time. It could also prove costly for school districts and parents that might have to afford more expensive portables to avoid a delay. There’s is no easy way out of it, and might not get better until either PC makers catch up or it’s safe for students to return in person.
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