Apple Fights Awkward MacBook Pro Problem
The move to Apple Silicon has rejuvenated the Mac portfolio, with the desktop and laptop computers showing Mac revenue at $9.1 billion (up from the expected $6.8 billion). While many of the geekerati jumped on the first generation products as quickly as possible (no doubt contributing to the blowout quarter), others will be waiting for the early adopters to find all the bugs in the hardware and software before jumping on with the second generation hardware.
And that might be difficult, because Apple has confirmed it is facing a crunch on components which will hit sales in the back half of 2021.
Right now the electronics world is facing up to an unprecedented shortage of silicon chips, and that is having a knock on effect across the entire supply chain. Apple may be able to fill a supplier’s order book far more than most of its rivals, but parts cannot simply be thought into existence if the raw materials are not there. Even if Apple is at the head of the queue, there’s still a queue
On Apple’s recent earnings call, Tim Cook discussed the issue, nothing that its portfolio will be ‘supply-gated not demand-gated’.
It’s in the next quarter that Apple predicts the impact will start, and the expectation is the first to suffer will be the iPad and the MacBook. Neither does the issue arise with the aforementioned cutting-edge Apple Silicon chips. Instead other components are going to hold up the retail sales; Reports from Nikkei Asia suggest that smaller components required for the MacBook Pro PCB and the iPad display drivers are going to hold up manufacturing.
The second calendar quarter is a traditionally quiet period for Apple sales, so the impact may not be critical but iut will be noticeable. Apple CFO Luca Maestri noted that “…supply constraints will have a revenue impact of $3 to $4 billion in the June quarter.”
There will be many wondering if this will impact on the new iPhone family due to be launched later this year in September
Apple’s legendary management of the supply chain is going to be severely tested. And if you are waiting for the right time to upgrade your MacBook Pro or iPad, it might be a lot harder than simply waiting until you are ready and heading to the Apple Store.