Apple was forced to halt production of the iPhone and iPad for several days when it was supposed to start working at full speed, according to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review.
It became clear that the company was not immune to global supply chain shortages, despite its massive purchasing power.
The tech giant previously lowered its iPhone 13 production targets for this year. It also had to cut back on iPad production to dedicate more parts to its flagship mobile devices.
But this is the first time in a decade that the company has had to shut down its factories during China’s Golden Week.
Apple’s factories usually ramp up production during the Chinese holidays, which take place at the beginning of October. It operates 24 hours a day so you can keep up with your holiday shopping needs.
But this year, it reportedly gave its workers time off instead. The director of supply chain told the newspaper: When there are very limited number of components and chips it does not make sense to pay workers overtime for work during the holidays.
As a result, people who are considering a new iPad or iPhone as a gift during the year-end holidays may not get the device in time.
The supply chain problems started before the pandemic, the paper says. That’s when Chinese companies blacklisted by the US hoarded stocks to survive the ban.
However, the coronavirus shutdowns implemented in Malaysia and Vietnam due to the delta variant severely affected the production of many electrical components and chips.
The bottlenecks in many cases were not caused by a shortage of the most expensive components of the device. But because of the cheaper peripheral parts.
And component manufacturers who do not have the same purchasing power are at the back of the list when it comes to raw materials.
For the iPhone 13 Pro Max, for example, the reason for the delay has to do with small peripherals that only cost a few cents.
Apple chief Tim Cook previously said the company lost $6 billion for the quarter ending in September, due to supply chain constraints. He also believes that it may lose more in the last quarter of the year.
It remains to be seen whether the company continues to enjoy the same level of demand by the time it has the components needed to manufacture its devices.
Moreover, the Nikkei Asian Review report says the company has told suppliers that demand for the iPhone 13 continues. It will re-accelerate production of its components for the months of November, December and January, according to the Arab portal for technical news.
And according to a previous Bloomberg report, the company warned suppliers that demand for its largest source of revenue has weakened ahead of the holidays.