Supply & Demand: Tech Brands Brace for the Q4 Crunch

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The most important thing in tech today is …

the push ahead in Q4: In a year marked by both high demand and tight supply, how have tech companies adapted?

I’ve been running through the West Coast this week: L.A. Monday, San Diego Tuesday, Back to L.A. Wednesday, Seattle today. In California I spoke with the CEOs of AMD and Qualcomm, whose semiconductors are a critical part of the supply chain that feeds into the holiday season. (AMD chips are in PCs, PlayStation 5s, Xboxes and more; Qualcomm chips are in all kinds of connected devices, particularly smartphones.) Here in Seattle I’m meeting with the executives at Microsoft and Amazon who oversee hardware.

The two most important themes I’m pursuing in my questions: How have these giants prepared for component shortages and logistical bottlenecks? And what will more determine success in this Q4: access to supply, or premium product strategy that makes more money on fewer units?

While you were sleeping …

Six of the documents that formed the basis of the Instagram article are published below. A person seeking whisteblower status has provided these documents to Congress. Facebook published two of these documents earlier Wednesday. WSJ

Console shortages will continue into 2022, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer. The head of Microsoft’s games business told The Wrap that a shortage of chips wasn’t the only thing stopping the company getting as many Xbox Series X/S consoles onto store shelves as it would like. VGC

In the broader world …

Bed Bath & Beyond shares tanked more than 28% Thursday morning as the company said it saw a steep drop-off in shopper traffic in August, dealing a blow to its fiscal second-quarter results. The big-box retailer is also dealing with industry-wide supply chain complications, which Chief Executive Mark Tritton said have been “pervasive.” He said the company’s costs escalated over the summer months, especially toward the end of its second quarter in August, eating into sales and profits. CNBC

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