Apple is reportedly facing a shortage of power management chips used inside the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. The shortage could prevent Apple from scaling up iPhone 12 production and meeting the holiday demand.
The severity of the shortage is unclear, but Apple suppliers have prioritized its requirements over others for chips that are in short supply. The shortage is being blamed on Covid-19 and the increased demand for silicon due to more 5G smartphones being sold. Huawei is also one of the reasons behind the shortage as it had been stockpiling on chips before its September ban came into effect.
TSMC had earlier told that 5G smartphones require about 30-40% more chips than 4G smartphones. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook had also said on a call with analysts that the company is expecting supply shortage for iPhone 12, Macs, iPad, and some Apple Watch models. He had said that the supply issues “were not a surprise” as Apple had just started ramping up production.
The supply shortage is already visible in the United States where many Apple Watch models are only available for delivery in late November, with iPhone 12 Pro not arriving until the end of November or early December. Selected iPad models are also showing a delivery time of late November.
The iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max are slated to launch later this month which should further strain Apple’s supply chain. Consumers have shown a strong interest in the iPhone 12 series despite the delayed launch and the economic conditions worldwide. The holiday season is an important one for Apple and the company will likely do everything to ensure that it is able to meet the demand for its new iPhones and other products.
Update: Another Nikkei report claims that Apple has been using some iPad Pro components inside the iPhone 12 Pro to make up for the supply shortage. Apple has also its suppliers to bump up production for the iPhone 11, iPhone SE, and iPhone XR.[Via Bloomberg]