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iPhone production reportedly halted briefly in ‘nightmare before Christmas’ scenario caused by parts shortage


As Apple’s ever-important holiday shopping season continues, the company is facing what a new report from Nikkei Asia describes as the “nightmare before Christmas.” According to the report, Apple is ramping up pressure on suppliers amid iPhone and iPad shortages impacting lead times.

Today’s report indicates that Apple missed targets for iPhone 13 production in September and October by around 20%. Additionally, Apple has reportedly been forced to scale back its total iPhone 13 production goal to between 83 and 85 million, down from its initial goal of 95 million units.

But the shortages are not only affecting Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone 13 lineup. The report explains that the production forecast for older generations of iPhones also dropped around 25% over the last several months. As such, Apple is also about 15 million units short of its goal to build 230 million iPhones in total this year, the report claims.

In fact, Nikkei says that Apple actually halted iPhone and iPad assembly for serval days in October, something that hasn’t been done in over a decade.

For the first time in more than a decade, iPhone and iPad assembly was halted for several days due to supply chain constraints and restrictions on the use of power in China, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told Nikkei.

“Due to limited components and chips, it made no sense to work overtime on holidays and give extra pay for front-line workers,” a supply chain manager involved told Nikkei Asia. “That has never happened before. The Chinese golden holiday in the past was always the most hustling time when all of the assemblers were gearing up for production.”

The report also notes that the shortages affecting iPhone, iPad, and Mac production relate to peripheral components, including “power management chips from Texas Instruments and transceivers from Nexperia as well as connectivity chips from Broadcom.”

But despite shortages and missed targets, Apple is still pressuring its partners to accelerate iPhone development into December and January. The report says that Apple has told suppliers to “reaccelerate their production of the iPhone for November, December, and January.”

Today’s report from Nikkei comes after Apple reportedly warned suppliers about diminishing iPhone 13 demand due to the shortages.

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