Bloomberg: Apple grapples with power chip shortage

From “Apple Faces Shortages in Power Chips for iPhone 12” posted late Wednesday:

Apple is grappling with a shortage of vital chips that manage power consumption in iPhones and other devices, people with knowledge of the matter said, complicating its ability to meet holiday demand for the latest version of its marquee gadget.

It’s unclear to what extent the bottleneck may limit iPhone availability during its crucial launch quarter, typically Apple’s busiest. Despite the shortfall, suppliers are likely to prioritize Cupertino, California-based Apple and its power-hungry iPhone 12 over other customers lining up for scarce parts (emphasis mine), said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.

Increasing demand for silicon across a range of products and supply-chain disruptions from Covid-19 are the main causes of the shortage, according to the people. Main Apple chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said in October that 5G smartphones require 30% to 40% more chip content versus 4G. That and uncertainty over the course of the pandemic is spurring customers to cache components for fear of running out, especially after major smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co. had stocked up massively ahead of a September deadline for U.S. sanctions.

My take: A good problem to have. (Apple-grapple is a gift few headline writers can resist.)

5 Comments

  1. Bart Yee said:
    Dialog Semiconductor out of UK was and is primary provider of power management chips for Apple. In 2018, Apple paid $600 million to license patents, purchase assets and transfer employees from Dialog To eventually develop their own designs. Probably still not ready yet and Dialog’s chips are in shorter supply.

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    November 5, 2020
  2. Fred Stein said:
    Love your visual. The iPhone is a piece of real estate, with many little store fronts.

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    November 5, 2020
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    The Bloomberg news article that I welcomed reading was the one attached to the above Bloomberg link saying: “…. The holiday season could be historic for two of the stock market’s biggest names, with sales that are expected to surpass a milestone that has rarely been reached in Wall Street history.
    Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are each expected to report revenue above $100 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, putting them into rarefied air and underlining their market dominance.“

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    November 5, 2020
  4. David Emery said:
    “and underlining their market dominance.“
    As the next PED post shows, it all depends on how you define the market!

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    November 5, 2020
  5. Gregg Thurman said:
    Every year someone alleges a component shortage, and every year Apple proves them idiots (or liars).

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    November 5, 2020

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