It's being reported this morning that Apple is grappling with a shortage of vital chips that manage power consumption in iPhones and other devices, people with knowledge of the matter said, potentially threatening its ability to meet holiday demand for the latest version of its marquee gadget. It’s unclear to what extent the bottleneck may limit iPhone availability during its crucial launch quarter, typically Apple’s busiest.
Trade restrictions and supply-chain disruptions from Covid-19 are the main causes of the shortage, according to the people. Disruptions are expected to persist over the next two quarters, the people said.
Power management is more important in the iPhone 12 than for its predecessors given additional camera features and 5G capabilities, increasing Apple’s need for these components. It recently launched four 5G models and analysts expect strong consumer demand for the devices."
The Bloomberg report further noted that "During a recent conference call with analysts, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook warned about supply constraints for the iPhone 12, Mac, iPad and some Apple Watch models -- although he didn’t specifically mention power-management chips."
During the conference Kyle McNeely from Jefferies asked Cook: "And are there any component shortages that you're seeing or are there any actions that you can take to increase weekly output versus last year?"
Cook, in-part replied: "I don't know if you're talking about iPhone in particular, but if you look at iPhone, we are constrained today. And that's not a surprise. We're at the front end of the ramp, if you will, and how long we will be supply constrained, it's hard to predict. I mean, we haven't taken orders yet for the iPhone 12 mini or the Pro Max either. And so those are coming. And so we shall see. But right now, we are supply constrained."