This Part Doesn’t Fit

For several quarters now, company after company has claimed the widespread shortages of parts is pushing out deliveries and costing them short money.

Sanmina-SCI, Flextronics, Benchmark, Jabil and others have been very specific about the amount of coin they’ve missed out on in any given quarter, but each time they’ve taken pains to explain that those orders have been delayed, not canceled.

Now here’s Sony Ericsson, taking it one step further by claiming the shortage of printed circuit boards and LED screens actually led to canceled or lost orders. That Sony Ericsson outsources smartphone production to, among others, Flextronics and Foxconn,  whose sales continue to rise, adds to the intrigue.

Assuming most electronics orders are zero-sum programs — in other words, if someone loses one, that means someone else won it — my question is, Who won the programs? It must be the company that has all the parts. But if every company is claiming shortages, something’s not adding up.

Does this seem logical?