In a sign that even Apple, with its massive procurement power, is not immune from the unprecedented supply crunch caused by the response to COVID-19 that upended the semiconductor market, production of some MacBooks and iPads has been postponed due to the global component shortage, Nikkei Asia reports.
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.
As a result of the delay, Apple has pushed back a portion of component orders for the two devices from the first half of this year to the second half, the people said. Industry sources and experts say the delays are a sign that the chip shortage is growing more serious and could impact smaller tech players even more heavily.
Production plans for Apple’s iconic iPhones have so far not been affected by the supply shortage, although the supply of some components for the devices is “quite tight,” according to two sources. Overall, the component shortage remains a supply chain issue for Apple and has not yet had an impact on product availability for consumers, Nikkei has learned.
Apple sells around 200 million iPhones, more than 20 million MacBooks, 19 million iPads, and more than 70 million pairs of AirPods a year — all rank within the top five globally in their respective consumer electronics segments — making the company one of the world’s most powerful procurement forces.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple will be able to better navigate this supply crunch challenge than smaller companies, but it will be an ongoing concern. Ars Technica on Tuesday reported that “snarled semiconductor supply chains may not untangle until next year.”