The coronavirus pandemic has caused a global chip shortage—that’s why you haven’t been able to purchase your PlayStation 5—and Apple has been immune to this problem, up until now.
- Global chip shortage impacts iPad and MacBook production.
- Production of those models has been delayed as a result.
- iPhone production is not affected at the moment.
Global chip shortage hurts Apple
The serious imbalance in the semiconductor industry has reportedly delayed the production of some unspecified iPad and MacBook models, according to a report from Nikkei today. Apple has been able to avoid supply chain disruptions thus far thanks to its massive procurement power and multi-year deals to secure components, but that appears to be changing now.
From the Nikkei report:
Chip shortages have caused delays in a key step in MacBook production—the mounting of components on printed circuit boards before final assembly—sources briefed on the matter told Nikkei Asia. Some iPad assembly, meanwhile, was postponed because of a shortage of displays and display components, sources said.
To give you a better idea of the scope of the procurement issues that Apple is facing here’s roughly how many of its most popular devices the company sold throughout 2020:
- iPhone smartphones 200 million units
- Mac notebooks: 20 million units
- iPad tablets: 19 million units
- AirPods earphones: 70 million pairs
Don’t worry, you’ll be getting your iPhone 13 as expected because the report notes that production plans for the next iPhone have not been affected by the supply shortage so far. However, the supply of some components for the iPhone 13 family is “quite tight,” sources said.
Have new Apple gadgets been delayed?
The delay has reportedly prompted Apple to change plans so the aforementioned iPad and MacBook parts will now ship in the second half of this year instead of the first half.
The fact that the supply crunch has spread to MacBooks and iPads— two key Apple items—shows that the component shortage remains a serious issue and could deal a more serious blow to tech players that have less bargaining power and supply chain management expertise than the US company, industry executives told Nikkei Asia.
Apple was widely expected to release its updated iPad Pro and Apple TV models along with its Tile-like item-tracker in the first quarter of 2021.
Now we have a better idea why that hasn’t transpired.
There’s no doubt that the ongoing global semiconductor shortage has caused all sorts of disruptions and product delays because there simply aren’t enough chips to go around.
Clearly, no one has envisioned that a virus would bring the world to a standstill and cause people to switch to working from home, upgrading their home electronics as a result. The issue has already caused shortages of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles. And if you’re a PC owner eyeing a high-end Nvidia or AMD GPU, good luck getting it in the following months.