The global silicon chip shortage seems to have finally reached Apple, as a new report says it has delayed production of some MacBook and iPad models. While it does not affect current product availability, the delay is a worrying sign that could change.
According to Nikkei Asia and taken up by Committed, the supply chain issues that have plagued everyone from GPU makers to automakers are finally catching up with Apple. The issues are affecting MacBook production at a key manufacturing stage where components are mounted on a printed circuit board, while iPad production has been pushed back due to a shortage of screens and display components .
For the moment, Nikkei reports that these shortages are not having a direct effect on the current supply of Apple products, so consumers shouldn’t notice this problem when it comes to being able to buy new devicesâ¦ just yet. But this problem is almost guaranteed to become a problem, as it is reported that Apple has already moved the production schedule for new products from the first half of this year to the second half in anticipation of a shortage of parts.
Apple carries considerable weight when it comes to ordering and purchasing parts, so seeing that the global silicon shortage has finally started to affect the consumer electronics giant is troubling.
The silicon shortage was bound to affect Apple at some point, however, as it has already significantly affected the availability of computer parts for PCs and video game consoles, making it extremely difficult to purchase them. Most of the time this is blamed on scalpers and crypto mining, and while both of these factors are part of it, Linus Tech Tips explains in the video above that this is actually not the main reason for which to get these parts is so difficult.
When it comes to automobiles specifically, many manufacturers expected the coronavirus pandemic to significantly slow the rate at which consumers buy them, and adjusted production lead times and schedules before that. And while at first it turned out to be the case, the second half of last year saw this situation be significantly reversed. When people realized they didn’t want to use public transport with a highly contagious disease on the loose, “the demand came back in force,” as Linus puts it.
On top of that, next-gen graphics cards finally gave consumers a reason to upgrade just as Sony and Microsoft launched new gaming consoles, skyrocketing demand as people spent more. time at home. But it doesn’t stop there: As more people have turned to working from home, the demand for the types of products needed to do it effectively has peaked.
When companies produce modern electronics, they don’t do it on a whim. Everything is planned well in advance, and factories producing the parts needed to run these electronic devices have a fixed quantity that they can manufacture in a given period of time. According to Linus, this outlet is already at its maximum capacity. The problem is, the demand is simply too high to be met.
So, while it is possible to point out one or two things that caused this shortage of supply, it is actually the combination of all these factors that has led to a dramatic difference between supply and demand. Hopefully Apple is able to get around these issues, but at some point, the physical limitation of available electronic parts is something you can’t get around no matter the size of your business. With the new iMacs and Macbook Pros expected this year, a delay due to shortages would dampen huge consumer expectations thanks to the wild success of Apple’s MacBook M1s.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.