Apple is said to be facing shortages of power management chips for its smartphones, according to a report by Bloomberg. People familiar with the matter told the news agency that the issue is expected to affect the production of its highly anticipated iPhone 12 phones that’s slated to be released beginning later this month.
The sources added that demand for silicon across a range of products and supply-chain disruptions from the current pandemic are main causes of the shortage. According to Bloomberg, main Apple chipmaker TSMC noted in October that 5G smartphones require 30% to 40% more chip content versus 4G, causing its customers to cache components for the fear of running out. In addition to this, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is said to have stocked up massively ahead of a September deadline for US sanctions, which also impacted the supply chain.
The power management chip is more crucial for the iPhone 12 than its predecessors given the additional camera features and 5G capabilities, the report added. Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to have warned about supply constraints for the iPhone 12, Mac, iPad and some Apple Watch models during a conference call with analysts. However, he did not specifically mention power-management chips. Cook also said that supply issues for the iPhones are “not a surprise” and commented that it would be hard to predict how long the constraints will last.
If the report is accurate, it is quite possible that we may see limited distribution of iPhone 12 stocks once it has shipped out to worldwide markets later this month. The new Apple flagship smartphone is expected to arrive in Malaysia on 13 November 2020, with a starting price of RM3399.