With September here, back-to-school coverage is gearing up, and I want to highlight a piece in Recode outlining the laptop and tablet shortage. Notably, while other portions of the supply chain have improved, the laptop shortage is still going on, and appears to have no sign of ending. The article cites that administration sanctions, issued in July, as one reason for the shortage. Combined with the unpredictability of the pandemic, the situation is particularly bad for lower-income students.
Why do we care?
There’s a bit of politics crossing with business here. Without making a statement about whether the sanctions are good, we can observe that having them is making the supply chain more restricted.
Note that this is limiting the ability to solve customer needs. It’s also notable this is before the holiday season, when we have expectations it would surge again.
The other reason to care about this is ensuring the digital divide is addressed for students. My take is this – as a business owner, you want as many potential customers as possible. Ensuring students have access to learning tools in technology is both an immediate customer base but also a customer base for the future. Having tech-savvy students leads to tech savvy customers.