Component shortage bites Apple, but M2 chip could still arrive soon

Supply crunch affects MacBook and iPad production

New M1 chip on black background

Apple faces silicon production shortages that could affect its ability to ship products, even as it prepares to produce the next version of its in-house chip design.

Nikkei Asia reported that Apple postponed some MacBook and iPad production due to the ongoing component shortage. Sources told the outlet the problems affected the company's ability to mount components on circuit boards just before final assembly. There is also a shortage of displays and display components that’s causing problems on iPad production lines.

This has forced the manufacturer to delay some component orders from the first half of this year to the second, which will likely delay MacBooks and iPads due in the second half of the year, reports said.

MacBook devices arriving later this year will likely feature the company's M2 chip, the latest version of the in-house silicon the company launched last year. That chip could be ready for use as early as July, said reports. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) will produce it under a 5nm process.

The shortages will be frustrating for Apple, which has been capitalizing on the work-from-home boom with soaring product sales. In its Q2 results announcement this week, Apple reported year-on-year revenues up 54% to $89.58 billion. Revenues for Macs and iPads rose 70.1% and 78.9% to $9.1 billion and $7.8 billion, respectively, over last year. 

IPhones, which so far haven't been affected by the semiconductor crunch, saw revenues grow 65.5% to $47.94 billion.

Large tech companies have mostly weathered the supply shortage, although Samsung, which produces significant processor parts, has reported supply chain issues. Smartphone chip giant Qualcomm has also said it’s struggling to cope with demand. Apple's reported issues suggest that the problem is metastasizing to larger companies that have so far been able to stave off supply chain issues with their buying power.

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