It’s only a temporary precaution but illustrates the issues facing hardware manufacturers worldwide.
Reports indicate that Apple has temporarily halted production of some MacBook and iPad models as the global semiconductor chip shortage continues.
That the global chip shortage is now directly affecting Apple products shows the extreme situation facing hardware manufacturing at the current time, with numerous major tech companies feeling the strain placed upon one of the most important supply chains.
Apple Temporarily Postpones MacBook and iPad Production
According to Nikkei Asia, well-documented chip shortages have finally arrived directly at Apple’s door, forcing the company to halt MacBook and iPad manufacturing for certain models temporarily.
For MacBooks, the shortage affects the mounting of critical components to the printed circuit board before the final assembly process, while iPad assembly is affected at multiple points, including display components and a shortage of displays themselves.
Resultingly, Apple will push production for the affected models back into the second half of the year, though there is little indication that the chip shortage will have resolved by that time.
Although Apple declined to comment on the story, two sources reported that the supply of components for Apple’s iPhones was also “quite tight,” though not affected yet.
Given the nature of the issue, there is little telling how and when Apple’s MacBook and iPad production issues with ease, or if iPhones will eventually join them.
Global Chip Shortages Affect Biggest Tech Companies
It was only a matter of time before more major tech companies began to feel the semiconductor supply chain burden. The past year has been punctuated by periodic chip shortages affecting specific products, significantly worsening in the last six months.
In short, demand has vastly outstripped production, with lead-in times now estimated to be around 12-18 months for some products. Existing products, such as the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nvidia’s 30-series GPUs, and AMD’s 6000-series GPUs, are struggling to meet any form of regular production numbers, with skyrocketing prices accompanying the shortages.
Furthermore, it was long ago that Apple’s largest chip manufacturer, Foxconn, made the powerful assertion that Apple wouldn’t be affected by the global shortage, despite the unprecedented market issues.
In fairness to Foxconn chairman Liu Young-way, the actual quote was that the companies major customers would feel a “limited” impact regarding the shortages. So far, given Apple has only scaled back production on certain MacBook and iPad models, that statement stands true.
Whether companies like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, Nvidia, and AMD can continue to weather the shortages is another thing.
While there are significant shortages, prices have risen drastically for certain bits of hardware. However, it isn’t usually the OEMs seeing the bulk of this hypersensitive market—it’s the scalpers that manage to actually get their hands on the products before real consumers.
Due to a semiconductor shortage, Samsung is considering not launching a new Galaxy Note device in 2021.
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