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Apple wants there to be enough iPhones for everyone this holiday season, and it has a cunning plan to try to make this happen.
According to reporting by Nikkei Asia, Apple's plan is to dramatically cut back on iPad production in order to be able to allocate more components for iPhone 13 production.
This is a gamble.
iPad orders are severely delayed already. Order one today, and, according to Apple, you're not going to see it for four to five weeks. For the iPhone 13, the situation is also pretty bad, with all models and configurations delayed for three to four weeks. The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros have a lead time of three to four and four to five weeks, respectively.
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This means that if things don't drastically improve by Thanksgiving time, it will likely be game over for any new Apple-branded presents under the tree.
CEO Tim Cook made it clear during the last earnings call that Apple has felt the pinch due to a "industry-wide silicon shortages and COVID-related manufacturing disruptions," amounting to some $6 billion in lost revenue. And it could get worse.
In fact, Apple is bracing for it.
"We believe that by the time we finish the quarter, the constraints will be larger than the $6 billion that we experienced in Q4," Cook told analysts during the earnings call.
That's a huge hit.
This quarter is traditionally Apple's strongest, and the company needs to ensure that waiting times are as short as possible. Otherwise, people might choose to spend their holiday gift money elsewhere.
If you're looking to buy Apple products this holiday season, my advice is to get your orders in sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to be disappointed and frustrated.