Apple has delayed the production of some MacBook and iPad models due to the global chip shortage affecting the electronics and automotive industries, according to Nikkei Asia. For the MacBook, the supply chain issue has affected a key manufacturing step wherein components are mounted on printed circuit boards before the laptop's final assembly. Meanwhile, iPad production has been pushed back due to the shortage of displays and display components.
Nikkei says the chip shortage hasn't shown a discernible impact on product availability for consumers yet and remains a supply chain problem. It remains to be seen whether that'll remain the case when the tech giant has reportedly pushed back a portion of its component orders for the devices from this half of the year to the second half. As analysts and tech executives have told the news organization, Apple is known for managing a complex supply chain and has the clout to quickly procure the components it needs. That even such a massive corporation was affected by this problem means it's becoming more serious and could have a bigger impact on smaller players in the coming months.
The electronics and automotive industries started feeling the effects of semiconductor shortages after work- and study-from-home arrangements due to the coronavirus pandemic caused a surge in demand for PCs and other devices last year. Automakers like Ford and Nissan had to cut vehicle production, and Sony said the PlayStation 5 will remain in short supply for a few more months due to the issue. It's become such a huge concern that the Biden administration is planning "aggressive steps" to address it, including "identifying choke points in supply chains."
Apple's iPhone production hasn't been affected by the semiconductor shortages, though Tim Cook told Reuters way back in January that the iPhone 12 Pro model ran into supply constraints. Nikkei's sources echoed what the chief executive said, telling the publication that the supply for some iPhone parts is "quite tight."