Apple broke bad news to iPhone fans

Getting hold of a shiny new iPhone could become harder than ever.

We've known this was a problem.

I expected that if there was any time when Apple top brass would mention it, it would be during the earnings call.

And that's when it happened.

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Apple, like most other tech firms, is feeling the pinch due to component shortages.

A word that came up a lot during the call was "constraints." It was up to Apple CFO Luca Maestri to break the bad news.

"… we expect supply constraints during the September quarter to be greater than what we experienced during the June quarter. The constraints will primarily impact iPhone and iPad."

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Normally, I'd put this down to scarcity marketing -- "get in there quick with your iPhone orders, because otherwise you'll miss out and the cool kids will laugh at you" sort of thing -- but these supply constraints are real and they're affecting almost every company that is involved in making things.

CEO Tim Cook went on to fill in some more details about the constraints.

"The majority of constraints we're seeing are of the variety that I think others are saying that are I would classify as industry shortage. We do have some shortages, in addition to that, that are 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. So it's a little bit of that as well."

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

On the whole, Apple does like to underpromise and overdeliver, especially where Wall Street is concerned, so it doesn't surprise me that there's this air of caution.

It makes sense.

The landscape is changing rapidly.

But I think that it's interesting and somewhat telling that Apple was willing to make such a statement, a statement that caused stocks to fall as a result.

This statement was not made lightly.

If you're someone who likes getting a new iPhone as soon as they're out, you might have to work a little harder this year.