Analyst: Apple’s Lightning connector shortage due to supplier change, poor yield rates

“[In] a research note shared with AppleInsider, well-informed KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo notes a change in supplier weighting combined with low yield rates has caused a shortage of Lightning connector supply,” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“Being roughly 80 percent smaller than its predecessor, Lightning is a complex component and requires new production methods, therefore decreasing the initial yield rate,” Campbell reports. “It is estimated that Cheng Uei, otherwise known as Foxlink, has been allocated 60 percent of all Lightning production, while Hon Hai, or Foxconn, retains the remaining 40 percent.”

Campbell reports, “However, output from supply channels indicate that only Foxlink is able to make stable shipments due to a better yield rate, meaning overall supply can’t meet crushing demand from early iPhone 5 adopters… Sources say Apple has asked Cheng Uei to dedicate additional workers and production lines to Lightning production to make up for the supply gap… ”

Read more in the full article here.


      1. Ordered 4 of them, should arrive Wednesday. I just ordered the USB cables for $19 a pop. Why the heck would you order the more expensive connectors ($29 or $39)? I’m just reusing my existing ac adaptors/chargers and swapping out USB cable

  1. I ordered 2 extra cables from the same day they the iphone went on sale. They came in today. I also order some of the 30pin to Lightning dongles…limit was 5…those aren’t scheduled to ship until October.

  2. They have TONS of these cables hanging on the wall at my local Apple store. I easily picked up 3 on Sunday, but was expecting them to be hard to find….based upon media reports.

      1. Okay, correction again.
        My Lightning cables just came, two days earlier than my last email said. And weeks earlier than originally promised.
        Go figure . . . again.

  3. Sources say Apple has asked Cheng Uei to dedicate additional workers and production lines to Lightning production to make up for the supply gap…

    This may also help explain the rather high price for the converters. This is early stage production whereby the product price has to make up for costs, including R&D. Then add the low supply and high demand. This kicks up the price.

    Ideally, successful mass production forces the price downward. We saw this in dramatic fashion with the drop in HDTV prices. When they first hit the market, $8,000 for an HDTV was standard, and that was with none of the modern added bells and whistles. What does a basic HDTV cost now?

    And yes, there is the ‘monopoly’ of the sales environment. Only Apple iPhone 5 and iPod Touch 5 users want and require one. There is no ‘universal’ need or appeal for it, as well as no competitor providing it. That also keeps the price high, unfortunately. But that is one of the fortunes and perks of invention and patenting. You own the market. Eventually patents run out, and theoretically so does any ‘monopoly’ effect on pricing.

    1. Oh and, what’s with all the ‘Fox’es in these company names?

      Asia has a cultural concept of foxes being bringers of luck. This is the case in Japan as well as China.

      In my parent’s backyard, foxes are eaters of squirrels. Thus they are similarly cherished.

      In MY backyard, it is feral cats who are eaters of squirrels.

  4. Poor implementation, Apple. There is no excuse for reckless outsourcing. Also, charging obscene prices on connector hardware to recover R&D costs is ridiculous. It’s a damn connector, and it allows zero performance improvement. If your low-bid suppliers can’t build the parts, Tim, then perhaps you should rethink your mad rush to do everything in China.

    1. Oh please, do grow up.
      Every manufacturing business that does R&D includes that in it’s pricing.
      Anyone wants cheaper versions, go to Amazon, tap ‘lightning adaptor’ into search, quit the whining.

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