A new report by NkkeiAsia says that iPhone 13 buyers are facing “longer-than-expected” delivery time due to the COVID-19 wave in Vietnam and the deployment of a new camera feature.
Although reports suggest that iPhone 13 camera parts get priority as Samsung orders fall below expectations, supply chains in Vietnam are struggling with constrained supplies of camera modules for the four iPhone 13 models as a significant number of its component parts are assembled in the country.
The main challenge is ramping up production of the new sensor-shift optical image stabilization to all four iPhone models when previously it was only in the premium iPhone 12 Pro Max.
“Assemblers can still produce the new iPhones, but there’s a supply gap [in] that the inventories of the camera modules are running low,” one of the executives with direct knowledge told Nikkei Asia. “There’s nothing we can do but to monitor the situation in Vietnam every day and wait for them to ramp up the output.”
According to people familiar with the matter, the situation is due to improve “as soon as around mid-October as production at one of the key iPhone camera module manufacturing facilities in southern Vietnam has gradually resumed in recent days after several months of on-and-off disruption.”
In China and Japan, buyers need to wait up to five weeks to get a new iPhone 13 Pro Sierra Blue with 512GB of storage. In the US, there’s a month of waiting as well.
Not only that, Apple has been facing chip and component shortages for the whole year. The report explains that the new iPad and iPad mini have longer-than-expected delivery times since the mini model uses the same chip as the iPhone 13 series.
Combining this with China’s tightening control of energy consumption shows the challenge Apple is facing, even though its situation is better than all other tech companies.
So far, key iPhone assemblers Foxconn, Pegatron and Luxshare have not yet been significantly affected by the power cuts, Nikkei learned. But still unknown is the scope of a potential chain reaction from production halts at the makers of materials, components, modules and parts. Suppliers are worried about another wave of unexpected power supply stoppages next month.
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