Wednesday, 13 October 2021 10:25

Chip shortages may force Apple to cut iPhone 13 production Featured

Chip shortages may force Apple to cut iPhone 13 production Image by Eelffica from Pixabay

Chip shortages may force Apple to cut its production target for the iPhone 13, the news agency Bloomberg reports, citing "people with knowledge of the matter".

The device was released on 14 September in the US, as iTWire reported.

The Bloomberg report said Apple had been aiming to manufacture 90 million devices. However, Broadcom and Texas Instruments were having difficulty in delivering sufficient components for this number.

TI provides Apple with display components while Broadcom supplies wireless parts. One TI chip that was in short supply was used to power the OLED display.

This is not the first time that Apple has had to change its plans during the pandemic. In March last year, there were reports that the company could be forced to put off the launch of an iPhone that supported 5G.

As things turned out, the launch of the 5G device had to be put off to October that year. Apple normally launches its iPhones in September.

Chip shortages have affected a number of industries, including the automotive sector.

In May this year, the technology analyst firm Gartner said the shortages would last well into the second quarter of 2022.

It pointed out at the time that the shortages had started initially with devices used for power management, display and micro-controllers made on legacy nodes at 8-inch foundry fabs which had a limited supply.

"The shortage has now extended to other devices, and there are capacity constraints and shortages for substrates, wire bonding, passives, materials, and testing, all of which are parts of the supply chain beyond chip fabs," it said.

"These are highly commoditised industries with minimal flexibility/capacity to invest aggressively on a short notice."

Although most categories would be supplied as needed by the second quarter of 2022, substrate capacity constraints could extend well into the final part of the year, Gartner said.

The time interval between submitting an order and taking delivery had increased for the ninth month in a row to 21.7 weeks in September, Bloomberg said, citing the Susquehanna Financial Group.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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