Apple was one of many companies that had to adjust its release schedule last year due to the pandemic. Typically, the latest iPhone makes its debut in September. In 2020, we had to wait until October for the reveal event. And then the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max didn’t actually hit store shelves until November. The worst of the pandemic is now behind us, and Apple has suggested that production is back on track for 2021. But with the infection rate on the rise once again in Asia, an iPhone 13 shortage suddenly looks like a distinct possibility.
According to Reuters, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn reported a 30% jump in profits during the second quarter of 2021. At the same time, the manufacturer also had a warning for investors. Foxconn has to “wait and see” if COVID-19’s resurgence in Asia will affect its supply chain.
“The epidemic situation appears to be worsening in Asia,” Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way said on a call Thursday. “Because Asia is the key global hub for ICT components, it needs to be closely watched whether the epidemic will have an impact on the overall supply chain.”
As successful as Q2 for Foxconn, the outlook is far less certain for Q3. The manufacturer forecasts a 3-15% rise in overall revenue for the third quarter of 2021. That is a wide range of possible outcomes, as 9to5Mac notes, highlighting the uncertainty the coming months will bring.
iPhone 13 production impacted by chip shortage
The ongoing chip shortage was going to impact electronic device production this fall either way. If the infection rate continues to trend in the wrong direction, it will only exacerbate the issue. This could lead to component shortages ahead of the iPhone 13 launch in September.
Apple has made it clear that the next iPhone is on track to release on time this year. At this point, it seems unlikely that the new phones will be delayed. But it might be difficult to actually get your hands on an iPhone 13 at launch. In late July, Apple said the “global chip shortage that has bitten into its ability to sell Macs and iPads will start to affect iPhone production.” The effects were “less severe than feared” in Q3, but Apple expected the situation to worsen in the following quarter.
Apple CEO Tim Cook offered the following statement at the time about the iPhone: “We do have some shortages where the demand has been so great and so beyond our own expectation that it’s difficult to get the entire set of parts within the lead times that we try to get those.”