The scarcity of semiconductors has reached the routine of Apple right in. That’s what counts the Nikkei Asia this Wednesday (8): the company stopped production of the iPhone 13 and the like due to the lack of chips and the energy crisis in October. According to the website, this is the first time in more than ten years that the manufacture of the brand’s products is interrupted during the Chinese holiday holiday (Golden Week).
The information was reported by people familiar with the matter. They said manufacturing of the iPhone, iPad and other Apple products had been stopped “for several days” during the long holiday. Traditionally, Golden Week is marked by an increase in the production of Apple devices, a period in which workers are given overtime instead of time off to meet the demands of the end of the year.
“Due to the limited number of components and chips, it didn’t make sense to work overtime on holidays and give extra pay to frontline employees,” said an unnamed executive. “This never happened before.”
The interruption takes place in a scenario marked by the scarcity of chips. According to the report, in September and October, production of the iPhone 13 was 20% lower than expected even when putting Apple’s new line of cell phones as a priority. Meanwhile, manufacturing of the iPad and older smartphone models has declined by about 50% and 25%, respectively, in terms of volume.
The effects of the crisis were also felt throughout the year. Apple had a goal of making 95 million iPhone 13 units before the end of the year, but it only managed to produce between 83 million and 85 million devices. The company, according to reports made to the site, hoped to build 230 million iPhones in 2021.
Lack of chips affects iPhone 13 production
Explanations for the suspension are linked to several factors. But the limitations for getting components is the main cause of the outage. The article uses the iPhone 13 Pro Max as an example to demonstrate that Apple even assembles the cell phone. But it cannot complete the job due to the lack of some peripheral parts.
The observation is similar to the complaint from other manufacturers, including the automotive sector. In Apple’s case, it’s chips from Broadcom, Nexperia and Texas Instruments and other vendors for power management, connectivity and more. “Even if you have 99% of the components ready, if one, two or three components are missing, it is not possible to kick-start the final assembly of the product”, said another executive.
Other factors are behind the crisis. This is the case of local restrictions due to the energy crisis in China, which directly impact the operation of factories. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic also appear in history, such as the episodes of lockdown in Malaysia and Vietnam, in addition to the friction between the United States and China.
Chip Crisis Affects Delivery Times Worldwide
The impacts are already being felt at the consumer’s end and may affect Christmas sales. O Nikkei Asia reported that despite shortening the delivery time of the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max from more than five weeks to one to two weeks, this is not the reality of other products. In the case of the iPad, the forecast reaches mid-January.
O Techblog simulated deliveries of some products to São Paulo (SP) through the website of the Apple Store in Brazil this Wednesday (8). The 128 GB iPhone 13 is scheduled for delivery this Thursday (9). But the situation is different for the 128GB iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max: in this case, delivery would take place between December 16th and 23rd.
Deadlines are even longer for the iPad. In the case of the 64GB 6th generation iPad Mini (Wi-Fi), the online store predicts that delivery will take place between January 14 and 21, 2021. The 14-inch MacBook Pro with the entry-level Apple M1 Pro is planned for arrive at the consumer’s home between January 3rd and 7th. When customizing the specifications, the term of the notebook resembles that of the tablet.
Apple has not commented on the matter.
With information: GSMArena and Nikkei Asia