The flagship iPhone 12 is one of the affected models around the world
Apple’s quarterly earnings calls are always a plethora of new information, but while the biggest news is usually the mind-boggling number of iPhones, iPads, and Macs that have shifted from store shelves in the past three months, this week’s edition was a little different. That’s because Apple took the opportunity to issue a shock warning to iPhone fans.
CEO Tim Cook warned that Apple could struggle to meet demand for its iPhone and iPad lineup over the next three months — possibly the highly anticipated new iPhone model, which usually arrives in September. The latest iPhone can be hard to get hold of at the best of times, so the added pressure on factories can make packing an iPhone 13 on launch day even harder than usual.
The reason? A global shortage of chips, the electrical “brain” that powers computers and smartphones, will soon affect iPhone manufacturing.
It’s already causing problems with the company’s Mac and iPad ranges, but this is the first time Apple has admitted it will also affect its biggest cash cow – the iPhone. Apple expects the chip shortage to cause problems for the delivery of all iPhone models around the world.
However, the Cupertino-based company won’t say exactly how bad, or when production will return to normal. That means if you’ve been patiently waiting to upgrade when the iPhone 13 series is inevitably announced in September, you may be out of luck.
Cook blamed some of the supply issues on the rising demand for his products, saying, “We do have some shortages…where the demand has been so great and so beyond our expectations that it’s difficult to get the whole set of parts in. the lead times we are trying to achieve.”
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However, the company is not alone in these problems. Dozens of other electronics manufacturers are in the crisis. Microsoft’s Xbox and PC products have already been hit by the recession. Sony recently delayed the launch of a new camera due to the shortage – and is desperately struggling to keep the PlayStation 5 in stock.
Samsung has shelved the latest entry in the Galaxy Note series, which normally arrives in August because there aren’t enough chips available to allow for the launch of another flagship smartphone line this year. Japanese automaker Nissan said today it would make half a million fewer vehicles this year because of the problem. The CEO told CNBC, “Knowing the current situation…we cannot be optimistic. I think this is still day to day.”
The chip crisis is largely due to – you guessed it – the Covid-19 pandemic. Those of us sitting at home upgraded our technology and bought new game consoles, home work sets and computers.
Taiwan, where many chips are made, is also experiencing its worst drought in decades, slowing production. Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency boom means wannabe millionaires are buying thousands of video cards to mine Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The dramatic announcement came despite an otherwise excellent few months for Apple. The tech giant’s sales jumped 50% last year compared to this time, thanks to massive demand for its 5G phones. It achieved sales of $39.57 billion (£28.52 billion) between April and June. We hope some of that money helps get us iPhones in time for Christmas!
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