iPhone 12 Pro orders on the online Apple store have slipped to late November and into early December because Apple is facing severe component shortages across multiple product lines.
The Cupertino gadget maker is said to have been taken by surprise by demand for the iPhone 12 Pro, which went on sale last month alongside the more affordable iPhone 12. In an effort to meet strong demand for the smartphone, the tech giant has been repurposing components from iPad models in the iPhone 12 Pro, according to Nikkei Asia Review.
Specifically, Apple is repurposing LiDAR scanners from the iPad Pro to the iPhone 12 Pro. The site adds that another crucial component is in short supply, power management chips.
Apple Inc. is grappling with a shortage of vital chips that manage power consumption in iPhones and other devices, complicating its ability to meet holiday demand for the latest version of its marquee gadget. Increasing demand for silicon across a range of products and supply-chain disruptions from Covid-19 are the main causes of the shortage.
Power management is more important in the iPhone 12 than for its predecessors given additional camera features and 5G capabilities, increasing Apple’s need for these parts.
Making matters worse: 5G handsets require 30-40 percent more chips content versus 4G.
That and uncertainty over the course of the pandemic is spurring customers to cache components for fear of running out, especially after major smartphone maker Huawei had stocked up massively ahead of a September deadline for US sanctions.
Nikkei writes that Apple has also boosted production of older iPhones ahead of the holiday shopping season. About twenty million units of the iPhone XR, iPhone SE and iPhone 11 models were ordered, the site has learned. By comparison, Apple is thought to have ordered 75-80 million iPhone 12 units this calendar year from suppliers.
From the Nikkei article:
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, meanwhile, have reached their end of product life and will no longer be produced. ‘The momentum for the iPhone 11 is surprisingly strong and keeps going. But that’s not the case for Pro and Pro Max,’ an executive-level source told Nikkei. ‘It’s about time for the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max to stop production,’ another person with direct knowledge of the matter said. Continuing to produce those two models would ‘affect sales of the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max,’ while the specs of iPhone 11 are sufficiently different to avoid that issue, the source added.
Both the upcoming new Apple Silicon-powered Mac products and the aforementioned older models of iPhones made from October will still be manufactured in China. Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged on a recent conference call with analysts that some iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch models are plagued with supply constraints, without elaborating further.