Large corporations, such as Apple, Samsung, and HP, usually have enough clout to get manufacturers to choose them over smaller firms. Despite the fact that chips are scarce, these behemoths thrived. As Apple continues to obtain components, the seriousness of the shortage seems to be reaching a tipping point even for them.
Despite Apple’s record profits and speculation that its second-generation silicon will be ready in time for fall releases, Macbooks and iPads coming out in the second half of 2021 will most likely be postponed. The global chip shortage affects all vendors, including Apple, which is now mass-producing its own SoCs.
The issue isn’t that Apple can’t make enough of its 5 million M1 chips. It is having difficulty obtaining other parts, such as disc controllers and display drivers, which depend on silicon manufactured using older processes.
Nikkei Asia notes that Apple has “postponed” production of MacBooks and iPads as it grapples with suppliers to obtain components used at “key” points in its assembly lines.
“Chip shortages have caused delays in a key step in MacBook production — the mounting of components on printed circuit boards before final assembly,” sources say. “Some iPad assembly, meanwhile, was postponed because of a shortage of displays and display components.”
Although the M2 chip will be available for the next MacBooks as early as July, Apple has postponed Q2 part orders until the second half of 2021. Since Apple is so good at handling the supply chain, the tech giant’s decision speaks a lot about how serious the chip crisis has gotten.
According to the reports, the change has little effect on iPhone demand, but supply of some iPhone parts is still “quite tight.” We may not see iPhone delays this year, but if chip vendors are unable to keep up, Apple may miss a year or postpone its 2022 flagships until early 2023.
Silicon Motion CEO Wallace Gou is pessimistic about the case. Silicon Motion provides NAND flash memory controller chips to a variety of firms, including Samsung, Western Digital, Micron, and Kingston.
“We really don’t see an end to this shortage, and things could be even worse, looking ahead to the end of the June quarter, as some smaller tech players could run out of some critical inventories to build their products and need to scale back production,” Gou predicted.