Rumor suggests chip shortage will not delay iPhone 13 launch
The iPhone 13 is easily one of this year’s most anticipated phone series, with Apple expected to sell massive numbers of iPhone 13 units in the latter part of the year. Unlike last year, the iPhone 13 is expected to arrive on time this year. At least that’s what current rumors indicate, including several reports from Apple’s supply chain. Several stories said that Apple has been securing critical parts for the next-gen iPhones, including the next-gen A15 chips from TSMC and the OLED panels from Samsung. Those reports suggested that Apple is looking to prevent supply issues that might delay the new iPhones, especially considering the chip shortages that impacted the electronic and auto industries.
A new report from Asia provides an update on Apple’s iPhone 13 production plans, suggesting that the iPhone 13 won’t be impacted by chip shortages this year. That’s because Apple is a top priority for TSMC, which is the exclusive manufacturer of the A-series and M-series chips that power iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Apple doesn’t comment on reports detailing its rumored supply chain deals, but the company is renowned for its considerable work to secure access to key components that go into the iPhone and ensure its suppliers can deliver those parts in large volumes while adhering to its strict quality demands. Apple’s business can make or break suppliers, and the iPhone maker remains the most valuable customer for many parts makers.
Apple is reportedly set to receive priority status from TSMC for iPhone 13 chip orders next quarter. TSMC will ramp up A15 production for the iPhone 13 in the third quarter, as the chipmaker struggles with orders from automotive and other device chips.
The iPhone 13 chip is widely expected to be called A15 Bionic, and the same System-on-Chip (SoC) might power some of the next-gen non-Pro iPads that Apple might announce down the road.
Companies like Samsung used the current chip shortage as an excuse for canceling the Galaxy Note 21g. The Galaxy S21 FE’s purported delay has been tied to chip shortages, with the Snapdragon 888 SoC mentioned in those rumors. Huawei is facing its own issues with chip manufacturing, although the Chinese handset maker is grappling with a few overlapping issues, including the US ban and the current chip shortage.
The iPhone 13 SoC is the kind of key component that can delay manufacturing. If the report is accurate, Apple’s preferential deal with TSMC might help Apple prevent any iPhone 13 shortages at launch.
The Digitimes report also mentions chip suppliers Genesys Logic and Parade Technologies, which are both scaling up manufacturing in the third quarter to meet Apple’s demands. Apple orders for the period are said to be 30-40% higher than second-quarter levels.
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