Power Chip Shortage Could Affect Apple iPhone 12 Delivery

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Apple’s newest signature phone has already faced delivery problems, being released a month later than is typical because of the global health crisis. It’s could now be facing another delay. With the Apple iPhone 12 finally released and looking forward to the holiday season, a power chip shortage could leave buyers waiting.

Power Chip Shortage

It’s most likely not an accident that iPhones start shipping every year two months away from Black Friday. This is always Apple’s busiest quarter. Many have iPhone 12s on their wish list. But the handset may be held up this year.

It’s not clear how much the power chip shortage will affect iPhone 12 shipments, but it’s thought that Apple would find a way to be on top of any distribution list for who gets the parts first.

A variety of products has increased the demand for silicon, and the pandemic has affected the supply of many items. People with knowledge on the matter believe these two issues are behind the power chip shortage.

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Chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said 5G smartphones require 30 to 40 percent more chip content than 4G. This demand and uncertainty over what will happen during the pandemic have caused customers to stockpile silicon components. Huawei did a massive stockpile before a September deadline ahead of United States sanctions.

iPhone 12 Power Chip Supply

The iPhone 12 requires more power management than earlier versions because of its additional camera features and the 5G capability. This places an increased need on the chips.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook issued a warning recently about the supply situation for the iPhone 12, as well as the Mac, iPad, and some Apple Watches. However, he did not specifically call out a power chip shortage in the iPhone 12.

He did say that supply issues for the iPhone are “not a surprise” because Apple is just ramping up its production. He explained “it’s hard to predict” how long the supply constraints on parts will last.

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The company uses multiple power-management chip suppliers, according to iFixit. The iPhone 12 Pro uses a Texas Instruments Inc. chip for its camera system, a similar chip from STMicroelectronics NV, and one from Qualcomm for the 5G capability. A power-management chip designed by Apple is included in the iPhone 12 Pro as well.

There is question of how the iPhone 12 production will affect the demand in China after the worst quarterly revenue performance in six years. Investors are watching that the Apple handset doesn’t begin to lose out to more local rivals in China, such as Huawei and Xiaomi Corp.

Apple’s website shows that new iPhone 12 Pro orders won’t be arriving until late November or early December, while the iPhone 12 isn’t showing the same delay. It’s not known whether the power chip shortage is affecting the iPhone 12 Pro delay. If it’s not the reason, perhaps the phone will ship even later once the supply constraints catch up to it.

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on an iPhone 12 before the possible shortage, read on to find out whether a drop will damage the iPhone 12 glass display.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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