In what is sure to be a positive sign that the worldwide chip shortage is abating, Sony has announced that it will be resuming production of its A6400 mirrorless camera. Though it’s unclear how long it will take for the cameras to show up in retailers, preorders are now being taken for the APS-C mirrorless camera.
The A6400 was discontinued in December 2021 at the height of the worldwide chip shortage. To make matters even worse, there was a fire at AKM Semiconductor, in Japan. Though this company manufactures audio chips, the pressure it added to the overall market exacerbated what is called the “bullwhip effect.”
The bullwhip effect was discovered by Stanford professor Hau Lee while researching diaper shortages. With a product seemingly always in demand, how can a shortage occur?
Turns out that like the flick of one’s wrist when using a bullwhip, the shortages can be triggered with the slightest of pressure.
As an event puts pressure on the supply, all it takes is one or two companies to boost their orders in an effort to secure their supply chain to reverberate throughout the entire industry. In no time, back orders occur as shortages become exponential.
With processors being on backorder industry-wide, Sony had to prioritize what model cameras they would be able to continue making in the short term, and production of the A6400 was ceased, along with the A6100, and the Sony A7 II.
With these models more than six years old, there was little assurance that production would ever be resumed again, cutting its useful life short in the process.
With computer chip companies bringing more factories online and now boosting production to higher levels in the process, the availability of processors for cameras and other products relying on these chips has once again enabled Sony to revisit the A6400 line, breathing new life into the APS-C camera.
There’s no word on when, or if, the A6100 or A7II cameras will be reintroduced, however, preorders for the A6400 were expected to be available beginning May 27th.
Currently, however, all websites are showing the camera as still being “temporarily out of stock,” or “email when available.” So it’s only a matter of time before the preorder links will go active.
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