As the number of Covid-19 cases climbs in Southeast Asia, some Apple suppliers have no choice but to shut down their factories. As a result, the delivery times of the iPhone 13 are gradually lengthening, the latter being already relatively high. To thwart the phenomenon, Apple places many orders with other partners, then forced to leave aside their other customers.
As expected, getting an iPhone 13 is a obstacle course. Already, during pre-orders, it was very difficult to get hold of the smartphone because of many bugs on the site, caused by too much traffic. The situation is not much better in physical stores. Angry users do not hesitate to storm shopping centers in the hope of leaving with the precious sesame. Faced with such enthusiasm, Apple struggles to shorten delivery times.
This context is already a fertile ground for lengthening buyers’ expectations. Obviously, the pandemic and the shortage of components do not help. In Vietnam in particular, where there are several Apple suppliers, Covid-19 cases are on the rise since several weeks. Also, the factories are closing, increasing the pressure on the Cupertino company. While the first deliveries are already experiencing delays, those who have not yet received their iPhone 13 are likely to have to be even more patient.
Lack of components forces Apple to turn to other suppliers
One of the culprits is the new iPhone 13 photo sensor. Until now, optical image stabilization was reserved for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple thus has a substantial stock of compatible photo sensors allowing it to produce equipped smartphones. Only here, this year, the firm has extended this functionality to all iPhone 13s. To date, the suppliers no longer have sufficient stock to produce the photo sensors.
“Suppliers can still produce the new iPhones, but there is a supply gap [car] stocks of camera modules are running out ”, explains an internal source at a manufacturer. “We can do nothing other than monitor the situation in Vietnam every day and wait for them to increase their production”.
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Right now we have to wait five weeks in China and Japan, two of Apple’s biggest markets, to have its iPhone 13 Pro delivered. In the United States, the lead time is four weeks, according to the manufacturer’s website. Even the less popular models, like the iPhone 13 Mini, are experiencing delivery delays.
Apple monopolizes component suppliers in Southeast Asia
While Apple hopes to sell 100 million iPhone 13s by the end of the year, the current situation puts a lot of trouble in its wheels. In order to compensate for the lack of production in Vietnam, the Cupertino company passes on its needs to other suppliers, especially in Japan and Taiwan. The latter therefore find themselves having to deal with a sudden and staggering increase in Apple’s orders with that of its competitors, such as Samsung, Xiaomi or even Huawei.
According to a report from Digitimes, the choice was quick for many of them. They are indeed several to have decided to only produce iPhone 13s, to the detriment of smartphones from other manufacturers. The reason is simple: while Apple has just released its new flagship, Samsung saw its sales drop drastically during the third quarter of 2021, a similar finding among its other competitors. Thereby, the benefits for suppliers are much greater focusing exclusively on the latest iPhone.
However, this situation could well, in the long term, be detrimental to manufacturers. Samsung has already canceled the release of the Galaxy S21 FE for lack of components, according to recent rumors. The Galaxy S22 is already on the way, and other brands will also need their suppliers. It is very likely that users have to face long delivery times to all manufacturers in the coming months.
Source: Nikkei and Digitimes