The ongoing chip shortage has been a pain point for over a year, and just in time for the 2021 holiday shopping season, it’s now causing the “bleakest” supply issues Apple has seen in years.
For anyone interested in consumer tech, the negative effects of the chip shortage aren’t anything new. It’s impacted availability for cars, GPUs, gaming consoles, laptops, and just about everything else with a computer chip. It existed for much of 2020, all of 2021 so far, and is poised to keep going well into 2022.
A new report from Bloomberg explains that Apple’s record-setting holiday quarter is under threat from shortages across nearly every product, most notably the new iPhone 13 lineup.
Apple’s most recent products — like the iPhone 13, Apple Watch Series 7, and MacBook Pro — have a shipping estimate of November or December. The availability of new Apple products does tend to tighten around the holiday season due to heavy demand, but this year, the story seems to be a bit different.
According to the report, the iPhone 13 is the “highest-profile” case of shortage this holiday season, noting that the iPhone 13 Pro is hard to find “in every color,” size, and configuration. Bloomberg cites Apple store employees who say “they’re increasingly dealing with frustrated customers,” also stating store employees noting that the supply situation “is the bleakest in years.”
Many analysts expect Apple could generate up to $120 billion USD in revenue in the last quarter of 2021 thanks to a bevy of major upgrades. Still, the supply crunch is a major issue that needs to be addressed.
Apple is not the only one affected by the semiconductor shortage, though. Google, Samsung, and Sony, for example, are also affected by this issue. Google is launching its recently-announced Pixel 6 series in only a handful of markets due to the supply crunch, while Samsung has reportedly delayed the launch of the Galaxy S21 FE to early next year for the same reason, with its flagship Galaxy S21 series in limited supply in the US.
Given Apple’s size and product lineup, though, the company has done reasonably well to navigate the supply crunch so far, but it will still no doubt have a serious impact on its holiday earnings this year.