For years, Santa Claus has received a huge number of orders for Apple products to deliver at Christmas. But this season it faces a stark reality: the company is at a low level and a good part of the devices it will sell this year will take weeks to reach customers.
Orders for the company’s newest products – iPhone 13, iPad mini, 9th-generation iPad, Apple Watch Series 7, and MacBook Pro – won’t be completed until late November or well into December. Even some older devices – like the iMac announced in April, the Mac Pro, and some more expensive configurations of the MacBook Air – are experiencing lags.
Having to wait for an Apple product is nothing new, given that the annual launch of your iPhone and other popular products often bring with them long lines and delays in deliveries. But this year, supply chain problems and chip shortages plaguing all sorts of industries have further compounded the problems. And that perfect storm threatens to undermine what could be Apple’s biggest sales quarter in its history.
The company is expected to bring in nearly $ 120 billion in the last three months of the year, 7% more than the previous year. That sum exceeds the combined quarterly sales of Best Buy, Costco Wholesale, Disney and Target, among other US giants.
In a year when Apple should be enjoying success in one of its biggest product update cycles, the global supply crisis is the “elephant in the room,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.
The iPhone, Apple’s flagship product, which accounts for about half of its sales, is the highest-profile case. A month after going on sale, the iPhone 13 Pro is hard to find in all the colors, configurations, and sizes it offers. This is not normal, according to Apple employees, some of whom acknowledge that they increasingly have to deal with angry customers.
A person who requests an iPhone on the US website this week will have to wait between November 18 and November 26 to receive it. The same goes for Apple’s newer iPads. And the shortage extends to the company’s physical stores, with most outlets having little to no supply of most models.
The season isn’t going well for other tech giants, either. Google has already seen that many of its new Pixel 6 models are out of stock, while Amazon’s newer devices won’t launch until the end of the year at the earliest. Sony’s PlayStation 5 is still hitting stores around the world in a trickle after being on sale for nearly a year, and Samsung has also warned of shortage issues.