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If you plan on gifting an iPhone or iPad, buy it now – Apple can’t keep up with demand

Supply chain woes have finally caught up with Apple

iphone 13 pro camera
Image: KnowTechie

If your ideal holiday gift this year is one of Apple’s iPhones or iPads, you’ll want to buy it sooner rather than later. Why? There are only 15 days of shopping before Christmas, and Apple is reportedly struggling to manufacture enough devices.

A recent report from Nikkei Asia says that Apple’s assembly factories in China were halted for several days recently. That’s partly due to supply chain-related issues and due to power restrictions in China.

That’s an unprecedented set of circumstances, with one supply chain manager quoted as saying, “[this situation] has never happened before,” at least not for Apple.

“Due to limited components and chips, it made no sense to work overtime on holidays and give extra pay for front-line workers. That has never happened before. The Chinese golden holiday in the past was always the most hustling time when all of the assemblers were gearing up for production.”

Two years of chip shortages, energy shortages in China, and pandemic health restrictions have all finally caught up with Apple.

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In an average year, this is the busiest part of the year for Apple’s supply chain. Factories are humming 24 hours a day to make components. Assemblers also work around the clock, usually underpaid.

This year, shortages of components have meant no need for overtime pay. Apple has missed production goals for a number of devices, including the iPhone 13 lineup, iPhone SE, and the iPad. In some cases, it’s by a wide margin. For example, Apple had a 95 million unit goal for iPhone 13 models, and they’re reportedly going to be 10 million short of that.

The upshot? If you want to gift an iPhone or iPad this holiday, better get a move on. There’s still hope.

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