There is a global shortage of semiconductors right now affecting all kinds of industries, as almost all hardware these days depends on silicon to some degree. The car industry is particularly affected, with manufacturers simply unable to produce as many cars as they planned while waiting for component availability.
As one of the world’s largest buyers of silicon, Apple’s large size and market power meant that it was able to buy up available capacity and continue production of key products such as the iPhone undamaged, at least so far. However, a report from Nikkei today says that even Apple is hurting, with the production of some iPad and MacBook models affected.
Nikkei says that iPad mounting is maintained due to a lack of screen components. Meanwhile, MacBooks vendors are stuck with a key bottleneck: the assembly process of circuit board components.
These problems have meant that Apple has been forced to push back the production of a “part of component orders”
There have been many rumors that Apple prepared an iPad Pro update in early 2021, but it is unclear whether the lack of chips will have disrupted the schedule for that product line. The iPad Pro is simply a much lower volume product compared to Apple’s standard computer devices such as the $ 329 iPad or the $ 999 MacBook Air.
Nikkei says downstream availability of iPhone components is “tight”, although production is currently continuing at normal levels.
Sitting at the top of the tech food chain, Apple has the influence and money to typically get what they want from suppliers. However, if the chip shortage even hits the iPad and MacBooks, it should be an important warning sign for smaller companies that do not have Apple’s bargaining power. Most analysts expect the semiconductor shortage to persist for many months to come.
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