MacBook and iPad production is interrupted

The global component crisis disrupted the production of MacBooks and iPads, showing that even giants like Apple cannot be completely “immune”.

According to the source of the NikkeiShortages of chips delay an important step in MacBook manufacturing, which is to attach components to printed circuit boards before final assembly. Meanwhile, the iPad assembly is also affected due to the lack of screens and screen components.

As a result, Apple had to move part of its component orders for the two devices from the first half of this year to the second half of the year. This is a sign of the worsening semiconductor crisis, which can hit the smaller players heavily.

Apple is known for managing one of the most complex supply chains in the world, as well as the speed at which suppliers are pressed. That helps the company cope with a component scarcity that is rocking other electronics and automakers.

Two sources revealed that the production plan of the iPhone so far has not been affected although the supply of some components is relatively “strained”. Overall, it has not had a negative effect on the products Apple is selling to customers.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics recently confirmed that chip shortage could cause problems for the company in the second quarter. The company has a team on duty to solve the problem.

According to Peter Hanbury, a partner of consulting firm Bain & Co, giants like Apple, Samsung, and HP have many advantages to put pressure on suppliers, demanding priority orders when capacity is limited. They have also developed sophisticated procurement and supply chain capabilities, including planning with production partners and monitoring the production site closely to foresee situations like these.

Even so, demand for a number of large product categories has exceeded capacity, so every company has been caught up in a spiral of crisis. Power replenishment is a lengthy and costly process.

Each year, Apple sells about 200 million iPhones, more than 20 million MacBooks, 19 million iPads, and more than 70 million AirPods. They are among the world’s most powerful buyers. In the laptop market, “apple defect” ranked fourth with 7.6% market share, followed by Lenovo, HP and Dell. As for tablets, the company ranks first with 32.5% market share, followed by Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo and Amazon, according to IDC data.

Affected MacBooks and iPads show that component scarcity continues to be a serious problem, potentially knocking out companies with lower bargaining power and supply management expertise than Apple.

Wallace Gou, Chairman and CEO of Silicon Motion – developer of flash memory chip management – said the review has not come to an end for the crisis. He even thinks things could get worse when by the end of the second quarter, some small players will run out of inventory needed to produce and have to scale down.

Demand for computers continues to be strong this year as people are still studying and working from home during the epidemic season. The global PC market is expected to grow more than 18% by 2021 after growing nearly 13% a year ago. However, the US, Japan and Germany are asking Taiwan and South Korea – two semiconductor powers – to prioritize chips for the car industry. It stifles the production of semiconductors for consumer electronics and computers.

Du Lam (According to Nikkei)

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