Tech | April 29, 2021 11:54 am

Why Apple Expects iPad and Mac Supply Shortages This Year

High demand and a global chip crisis are both contributors, says Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook and singer Lana Del Rey look at the new iPad after a special event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House October 30, 2018 i Brooklyn, New York
Apple CEO Tim Cook and singer Lana Del Rey look at the new iPad after a special event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House October 30, 2018
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

If you were hoping to upgrade your iPad or Mac in 2021 — you deserve it! — Apple has some bad news: due to the on-going chip shortage, you may have to wait another year.

“To [Apple CFO Luca Maestri’s] point about shortages, those shortages primarily affect ‌iPad‌ and Mac,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a Wednesday earnings call in response to a question (as reported by MacRumors). “We expect to be supply gated, not demand gated.”

Added Maestri: “The constraints come from semiconductor shortages that are affecting many industries and it’s a combination of the shortages and the very high level of demand that we’re seeing for both ‌iPad‌ and Mac.” Maestri also noted these shortages could end up costing Apple $3-4 billion in revenue for Q3.

Unfortunately, it appears to be only Apple’s latest gear that’s at risk; according to Bloomberg, the upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro is also having production problems (although issues with that may also have to do with the MiniLED display).

Apple isn’t the only one dealing with the global chip crisis: Honda, BMW, Ford, Caterpillar and Samsung have all announced a series of production cuts and supply issues related to the semiconductor shortage, which is the result of high demand, the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S.-China tensions and the general cost and difficulty in chip production (it’s pretty much down to two Asian firms making these: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. ).

It’s not all bad news for Apple: chip suppliers are investing in increased production facilities, and the company just announced a whopping 54% increase in revenue.