It’s been less than a week since Apple launched the iPhone 13, but the company is already struggling to meet demand. According to a new report from Nikkei Asia, COVID cases in Vietnam are limiting the capacity of manufacturers. As a result, iPhone 13 delivery times are slipping.
For the first time, Apple brought sensor-shift stabilization to every new model of its iPhone lineup. The iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max all feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization. In 2020, the technology was only available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Bringing it to every model has reportedly put a strain on Apple’s suppliers. Mix in a fresh wave of COVID-19 cases across the region, and you can see why Apple is having trouble making enough new phones.
iPhone 13 delivery times delayed
Amid all of the chaos, suppliers are trying to boost production without sacrificing build quality. They also have to work around increasingly harsh pandemic restrictions as case counts rise. Here’s what one executive with direct knowledge of the situation told Nikkei Asia:
Assemblers can still produce the new iPhones, but there’s a supply gap [in] that the inventories of the camera modules are running low. There’s nothing we can do but to monitor the situation in Vietnam every day and wait for them to ramp up the output.
Unsurprisingly, early demand for the iPhone 13 series appears to be rather high. While the iPhone 12 featured a minor design refresh, the iPhone 13 introduces a number of new features. These include 120Hz displays, better cameras, and significant improvements to battery life.
When will Apple’s situation improve?
Nikkei’s sources are cautiously optimistic that Apple could get back on track by mid-October:
The situation may improve as soon as around mid-October as production at one of the key iPhone camera module manufacturing facilities in southern Vietnam has gradually resumed in recent days after several months of on-and-off disruption, another executive familiar with the situation told Nikkei.
So far, key iPhone assemblers Foxconn, Pegatron and Luxshare have not yet been significantly affected by the power cuts, Nikkei learned. But still unknown is the scope of a potential chain reaction from production halts at the makers of materials, components, modules and parts.
In the meantime, don’t expect an iPhone 13 to ship to your door any time soon. At the time of writing, delivery times for the iPhone 13 are sitting around October 22nd – October 25th. As for the iPhone 13 Pro, if you ordered one today, it wouldn’t come in until at least November 1st.