Apple device shortages threaten to undercut what could otherwise be a record-setting holiday season for the company, reports Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.
Not long after Apple’s iPhone 13 launch in September, shipping estimates for all models began slipping by several weeks. This trend was replicated for the iPad mini, ninth-generation iPad, Apple Watch Series 7, and most recently, Apple’s new MacBook Pro models, all of which now show delivery times running into November or December. Even Apple’s much-derided $19 polishing cloth is sold out until late next month.
Shipping delays for new Apple products aren’t a new phenomenon, but several relatively older Apple products have been experiencing delayed shipping times since the first half of September, including the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, M1 Mac models, the 24-inch iMac, and across the Apple Watch lineup.
However, in a year when Apple should be seeing one of its largest product upgrade cycles ever, suppliers simply can’t keep up with the pent-up demand.
The iPhone — Apple’s flagship product, accounting for about half of its sales — is the highest-profile case of shortages. One month after going on sale, the iPhone 13 Pro is hard to find in every color, configuration and size. That’s not usually the case, according to Apple store employees, some of whom say they’re increasingly dealing with frustrated customers.
The report highlights certain components that Apple has found particularly hard to get, including chips from Broadcom and Texas Instruments. During the company’s third-quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook warned that the chip shortage that has plagued the industry for the last few months would impact iPhone shipments this year.
While Cook was likely referencing constraints with the upcoming iPhone 13, the shortage appears to have crept into other product lines. Apple still has time to correct the supply-demand imbalance before the end of December, but Gurman’s report suggests the delays in shipping older products are a “troubling sign.”
On the positive side, Apple products like AirPods, the HomePod mini, AirTags, and the Apple TV remain available for near-immediate shipment, which Gurman describes as “stocking fillers” for those on the lookout for anything Apple-related to gift to someone this holiday season.