back to article Report: Apple short of 10 million iPhone 13s this year due to ongoing chip shortage

Apple may be short of hitting its annual iPhone 13 handset production target by ten million units due to current global chip shortages. The initial plan was to build 90 million new smartphones over October to December, but the iGiant probably won’t be able to fulfill its goal as it scrambles to obtain vital components from its …

  1. Gene Cash Silver badge
    FAIL

    Pisses me off

    When people imply the poor wee widdle auto mfgrs are left out in the cold widdout any chippies!!!

    Stupid bastards brought it on themselves by saying "nope, we're good, we don't need any chips, COVID, don'tch'a know!"

    People need to stop depending on these goddamn razor-thin just-in-time schemes. That's great when things are running like clockwork, but when shit does go down, it really falls apart in a big way. I've been saying that for years before COVID. It doesn't have to be COVID. It could be an earthquake, it could be a dockworker strike, it could be anything.

    Now the port of San Francisco, where 40% of America's imports come in, is going to 24hr operation!

    WHAT THE FUCK? YOU WEREN'T DOING THAT ALREADY? ESPECIALLY WITH OVER 100 SHIPS WAITING AT LEAST 2 MONTHS??

    What kind of idiots am I sharing this planet with?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Pisses me off

      Running the ports 24x7 isn't going to solve anything on its own, it is one piece in a huge jigsaw puzzle. Truck drivers are also in a big shortage in the US, so unless you can solve that problem you'll trade "lots of containers sitting on ships outside the port" for "lots of containers sitting in warehouses surrounding the port" and you're no closer to getting them to consumers.

      That's a harder problem to solve. Theoretically you could temporarily relax rules around how many hours truck drivers can work, but that's a potential safety issue so if an overworked/overtired truck driver working those extra hours killed a family in a minivan then there would be a lot of second guessing.

      I agree the automakers kind of hoist themselves on their own petard with their shortsighted decision but that's in the past. The question is what, if anything, can be done to help them. That's a lot of people sitting idle when the factories are forced to shut down and a lot of the economy aside from just the big automakers themselves depends on that (i.e. parts, service, sales, used car market etc. etc.) so there are clear economic incentives to spend money there if someone can just figure out what to spend the money on that would help.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: Pisses me off

        Lorry (a.k.a. Truck) drivers are in short supply in the UK too. Drivers not returning after lockdown and too few tests for new drivers are just the COVID factors in their short supply. Brexit is being blamed. Poor wages and crap working conditions are also factors for fewer people joining the industry. (Those last too being part of the race to the bottom of this industry - something the retail & hospitality industry are also experiencing in the UK as cheap labour has dried up with people reviewing their career/life choices)

        There was an article on the BBC the other day about how container ships are no longer docking in the UK but instead offloading in European ports as UK ports are full of containers (both full & empty) that just aren't getting shifted.

        Parents are already being warned of toy shortages for Christmas due to freight/logistics problems. (Going on previous UK herd stupidity, I'm surprised I haven't see news articles about queues around the block outside toy stores)

        COVID & lockdown are going to have all sorts of unintended consequences for years to come.

        1. itzumee

          Re: Pisses me off

          Also the latest IR35 tax rules in the UK have put off many contract HGV drivers and has led to smaller haulage companies shutting down because of the risk of a lengthy and costly IR investigation makes it unviable.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Pisses me off

        "Running the ports 24x7 isn't going to solve anything on its own, it is one piece in a huge jigsaw puzzle. Truck drivers are also in a big shortage in the US, so unless you can solve that problem you'll trade "lots of containers sitting on ships outside the port" for "lots of containers sitting in warehouses surrounding the port" and you're no closer to getting them to consumers."

        Same in the UK re truck drivers. And our biggest container port is more or less logjammed with containers just now. To the extent that larger ships are now choosing to go to Rotterdam and others, offload there and the containers can then get to the UK by other means, eg smaller ships, truck/ferry or rail/tunnel. The big ships don't want to be laid up for a few days waiting for a berth.

        Increasing the numbers of truck drivers will take time. Drivers need to be trained and licenced. And most companies want people with experience. Same goes for the comments about new chip fabs in the US and EU. Ain't gonna fix anything short term. new fabs take years to build and commission. New fabs are needed for supply security, not to solve current production woes.

        I know at least one ex-truck driver who threw the letter from DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency, UK Govt Dept in charge of UK drivers licences) )in the bin, he ain't going back to that life any time, ever. Another, is still waiting for his delayed licence renewal that he applied for in plenty of time so as not to be forbidden from working, but DVLA delays means he's been off the road for nearly two months now.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Pisses me off

          The delays in licensing is one place where the UK government could easily help - just issue an order saying that if you have a valid license in good standing it can continue to be used for a year beyond its expiration date so long as you can show you've sent in a renewal application on time.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If everyone could please fix their broken stuff, give away unwanted stuff, recyle old stuff, buy a bit less new stuff, and not buy any cheap pointless stuff that'd be grand, thanks.

      This running the country lark is a piece of cake.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Pisses me off

      "People need to stop depending on these goddamn razor-thin just-in-time schemes. That's great when things are running like clockwork, but when shit does go down, it really falls apart in a big way."

      The Suez Canal isn't quite a single point of failure, but a lot of deliveries and production was screwed when the Ever Given blocked it. Those not already stuck in the queue, or committed to ports at each end, were able to go the long way around. That was also a delay and cost increase. It affected Europe noticeably. Probably other countries along the route from China to Europe too. And that was a very short term issue compared to a pandemic.

  2. DS999 Silver badge

    The plan for iPhone 12 was 75 million

    So even with the 10 million cut they are projecting building an extra 5 million iPhone 13s. It doesn't really matter to Apple in the long run, it just means it'll take a bit longer than usual to catch up to backlogs on certain models but it just delays Q4 purchases into Q1. It isn't like people will decide to buy something else if they can't get an iPhone delivered tomorrow. That's why the stock had almost no reaction to the news.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The plan for iPhone 12 was 75 million

      But does cause a perception that there may be a shortage so the demand will probably go up. It's a while since the news covered queues outside of Apple Stores wanting the latest shiny!

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: The plan for iPhone 12 was 75 million

        Even if there are lines temporarily that potential publicity doesn't increase the sales. Nobody is saying "I was going to buy a Samsung but since I saw on the news people are standing in line for iPhones I'll buy one of those instead!"

  3. FF22

    Chip shortage is the new "the dog ate my homework"

    Your self-driving tech is crashing left and right and can be trusted with anything?

    Say that you only cancel it because of chip shortage!

    You want to get even richer than you already are, even though you are already the world's richest?

    Say that you only need to raise the price of your already pricey electric car because of chip shortage!

    People are not interested in buying your iPhones anymore?

    Say that you will only make less of them because of chip shortage!

    1. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: Chip shortage is the new "the dog ate my homework"

      Unfortunately, for those of us working in electronics R&D, semiconductor shortages (not merely "chip" shortages - it's literally *everything* from complex ICs right the way down to bog standard diodes) are anything but a convenient excuse, they've been a very real and very significant part of our working lives for the past year or so, and by the looks of things will continue to be so for the next 6-12 months.

      For sure, some companies will be using this as an excuse to hike prices, constrain supply etc, but most of us are doing these things as well not because we're all evil greedy bastards, but because if we didn't then we'd go out of business. It's been an utterly exhausting time for everyone in the business, trying to keep up with an ever changing supply situation - e.g. you find out first thing in the morning that a part you've been using is now out of stock literally everywhere on the planet and you have no choice but to find an alternative. You spend whatever time you need to spend doing basic due diligence on some likely alternatives which are all still showing up as available initially, but by the time you've figured out that, yes, this part would work OK, you go to check stock levels again and see they're either significantly diminished or completely out of stock as well, because if YOU'RE suddenly having to look for an alternative for a particular part, then you can be damn certain there are OTHERS doing exactly the same as you at the same time, and it's a race to see who can grab alternative stock the quickest.

      And then, once you've managed to actually get stock of alternatives, you may then be faced with the need to so some additional redesign work (e.g. because the alternative isn't a true drop in replacement, but is at least close enough to stop it becoming a completely new design), environmental/EMC/safety recertification, production line reprogramming, BOM updates, new supplier agreements etc. The knock on effects of needing to change just one single component on a PCB could be huge, and right now if we were only needing to change one component then we'd consider ourselves lucky, more often than not it's a shopping list of parts that need to be swapped out.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Chip shortage is the new "the dog ate my homework"

        "it's a race to see who can grab alternative stock the quickest."

        And, of course, the big boys with lots of money can afford to pay more on speculative parts they think may do the job while they carry on with testing. The smaller boys have to complete the testing first 'cos they can only afford to pay the increased prices on parts they KNOW will work. Remember the Thailand floods affecting hard disk production? Anyone smaller than Dell or HP or the other Big Names were scrabbling around for the leftovers 'cos the money men jumped first.

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