Because of the pandemic, many companies experienced severe chip and component shortages in 2021. Apple was also one of the tech behemoths affected, with many of its products, including the most recent iPhones and iPads, experiencing significant delays in shipping. According to MacRumors, the situation appears to be easing.
At least for Apple supplier Foxconn, 2022 begins with a lessening chip shortage
Component shortages are said to have improved significantly in the first quarter of 2022, and it appears that overall supply constraints will ease in the second half of the year. At least, that’s what a Foxconn spokesperson (one of Apple’s main iPhone component suppliers) said.
Apple’s custom-designed chips are manufactured by TSMC, but Cupertino still relies on industry-standard chips from other companies for many functions, such as power management.
The components that were most affecting Apple’s manufacturing capabilities and causing delays in shipping for many of Apple’s products in 2021 were display drivers and power management chips. However, despite the situation improving, Foxconn stated that power management chips are still in short supply.
Although this announcement is a positive sign for the tech industry as a whole, TSMC has warned that chip supply will not improve significantly until 2022. Foxconn and TSMC intend to keep larger inventories of components in the future to avoid situations like this from happening again.
The truth is that chip shortages and supply chain disruptions appear to have primarily impacted low-end vendors, with little impact on tech behemoths like Apple. Regardless, Cupertino was inevitably impacted by this.
Wasn’t it previously the case that Apple prioritised iPhone 13 shipments over iPad orders
According to Nikkei Asia, Apple is currently dealing with an iPad order backlog as a result of prioritising iPhone 13 shipments.
We reported back in November that Apple appears to have cut iPad production in half (from the company’s original plans) in order to have more parts for the iPhone 13 series, which had just been announced at the time. Some components, such as core and peripheral chips, are shared by iPads and iPhones.
Worldwide, the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are still in short supply. Apple appears to be experiencing shipment delays on the newest MacBook models more than three months after their release. Orders for the 14-inch MacBook Pro can take up to three or four weeks to arrive in the United States, while the 16-inch model takes about five to six weeks.
Despite chip shortages, Apple continues to set revenue records.
Apple appears to have lost $6 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021 as a result of the supply chain disruptions, but the company appears to be recovering and preparing for new product launches later this year.
Despite supply chain problems, Apple managed to set sales records in the fourth quarter of 2021. (basically, its first fiscal quarter of 2022). The tech behemoth was able to set a new revenue record for the time period. It made a net quarterly profit of $34.6 billion on revenue of $123.9 billion. For comparison, Apple reported $1114 billion in revenue and a net quarterly profit of $28.8 billion in the same quarter last year.
Across the iPhone, Mac, Wearables, and Services segments, these numbers are essentially all-time highs for the company. Despite the delays in shipments and component shortages, Apple continues to expand its customer base.