Bad news, gamers: our collective thirst for new smartphones could throw off your chances of being able to get your hands on the hottest console on the market for the rest of the year.
The Nintendo Switch has been a hot commodity since it dropped back in March — it’s the fastest-selling console in the company’s extensive history and likely the number two console on the market right now. That runaway popularity has made it difficult for Nintendo to keep up with consumer demand. But there’s another factor in play that could the Switch away from store shelves and out of consumer hands — your smartphone obsession.
One of the essential components for the Switch, Toshiba’s NAND flash memory, is facing overwhelming demand from other massive tech companies like Apple, which depend on the parts for their latest smartphones. The industry-wide shortage could make it impossible for Nintendo to meet its steep production goals for the rest of 2017, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
A Toshiba rep told WSJ that the demand for the NAND flash memory has been “overwhelmingly greater than supply,” and that it’s unlikely the company will be able to produce enough parts to catch up with its orders for the rest of the year.
The rep specifically cited smartphone makers as the drivers of that demand, and Apple — which has been rumored as a potential buyer of Toshiba’s flash memory production arm — is one of its biggest customers.
Apple is prepping for a potential “super cycle” of iPhone sales with a deluxe anniversary iPhone 8 expected later this year, which you’ve probably heard about. If those predictions are true, Apple will be depending on the flash memory for millions of phones … and throwing off Toshiba’s ability to keep up with the sky-high demand in the process.
Nintendo, for its part, is hoping to produce 20 million more Switch units by next March.
Nintendo and Apple both declined to comment to WSJ about the potential supply chain issues. So if you’re lucky enough to spot a Switch out in the wild, snap it up, you might not have another chance to bring one home until the supply chain cools off.