Apple cuts iPad production by 50% to feed chips to iPhone 13

Apple has cut back sharply on iPad production – by some 50% – to allocate more components to iPhone 13 models, Nikkei Asia reports, citing “multiple sources.”

The ninth-generation iPad is a huge leap forward and delivers advanced features at an incredible price.
The ninth-generation iPad is a huge leap forward and delivers advanced features at an incredible price.

Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li for Nikkei Asia:

Production of the iPad was down 50% from Apple’s original plans for the past two months, sources briefed on the matter said, adding that parts intended for older iPhones were also being moved to the iPhone 13.

The iPad and iPhone models have a number of components in common, including both core and peripheral chips. This allows Apple to shift supplies between different devices in certain cases.

Demand for the iPad, however, has also been robust thanks to the rise of remote working and learning amid the pandemic. Global shipments of iPads climbed 6.7% on the year to 53.2 million devices last year, securing a 32.5% global market share, far ahead of the No. 2 Samsung’s 19.1% share, according to IDC data. Total iPad shipments were 40.3 million for the first nine months of this year, up 17.83 % from the same time a year ago.

This is not the first time Apple has prioritized iPhones over iPads. In 2020, it reallocated some iPad parts to the iPhone 12, its first full-range of 5G handsets, to shield its most iconic product from supply chain constraints during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MacDailyNews Take: This is no surprise, as Apple CFO Luca Maestri said in Apple’s Q421 conference call with analysts:

During the September quarter, supply constraints impacted our revenue by around $6 billion. We estimate the impact from supply constraints will be larger during the December quarter. Despite this challenge, we are seeing high demands for our products and expect to achieve very solid year-over-year revenue growth and to set a new revenue record during the September the December quarter. We expect revenue for each product category to grow on a year-over-year basis, except for iPad, which we expect to decline year over year due to supply constraints. For services, we expect our growth rate to decelerate from the September quarter but to remain strong.

Brady Wang, a tech analyst with Counterpoint Research, told Nikkei Asia that it is natural for Apple to prioritize iPhones over iPads in the face of component constraints.

“The scale of iPhone shipments of around 200 million units a year is much bigger than that of iPads. Apple’s most important and critical ecosystems are all surrounding iPhones, its iconic product. To add one more point, iPads do not have that strong seasonality like its flagship iPhones, which are always launched in autumn,” Wang said.

Meanwhile, Apple is already a dominant player in the tablet market with its iPads, Wang said. “Fewer users will turn to Android tablets if they are considering buying an Apple iPad but need to wait a bit longer. However, there could be a possibility that people could turn to… Android phones if they could not immediately buy an iPhone,” the analyst added.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, people will defer iPad purchases, not waste their money on some crappy iPad knockoff. Fewer people would downgrade to an Android iPhone knockoff than wait for a real iPhone that Wang thinks.

And, by the way, COVID-19 is not responsible for the supply chain mess. The various and sundry reactions of people and governments, rational and irrational, logical and illogical, scientific and unscientific, apolitical and political, to COVID-19 are responsible for the supply chain mess, mental health issues, excess mortality, increased suicide rates, increases in non-COVID-19 related diseases, unemployment, inflation, infringement of personal and other rights, bankruptcies, etc., etc., etc.

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9 Comments

  1. “And, by the way, COVID-19 is not responsible for the supply chain mess. The various and sundry reactions of people and governments, rational and irrational, logical and illogical, scientific and unscientific, apolitical and political, to COVID-19 are responsible….”

    Hear! Hear! This cannot be over-emphasised.

      1. People had a choice about how to react or overreact to what amounts to a bad flu. Those with authoritarian leanings (leftists) chose to overreact.

        Now the whole world pays. Even those of us who recognized it was just a bad flu from the outset and warned against overreaction.

        If you don’t live in a red state (enjoying freedom and life), you have no idea how hard they laugh at blue states over their illogical, unscientific COVID reactions, restrictions, rules, etc.

        Let’s go, Brandon!

        1. Well then all Red States should…Mandate Red Science… In Red Medical Schools… and only treat Red Patients.

          Say hi to Hippocrates and Asclepius when to see them, they will be amazed at your knowledge.

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