Apple doesn’t know when Mac wait times will improve

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By June, Apple expects supply challenges to continue.

(Image credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A new Mac or iPad has been difficult to get your hands on this year. Even as we move into the summer, Apple doesn’t anticipate things to get better for the company.

Apple officials told Wall Street analysts that supply restrictions hurt the company’s bottom line in the first three months of the year when they announced sales and profit data for the company’s fiscal second quarter, which ended in March. And supply difficulties are expected to linger until the June quarter, according to Apple.

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Covid-19 stop downs at Apple’s assembly plants, as well as continuing silicon supply issues that might reduce sales by $4 billion to $8 billion, were specifically mentioned in the company’s last quarterly earnings report. Aside from raising suspicions among investors, this might also make some items more difficult to locate for consumers.

ProductExpected delivery
iPad Pro (11- and 12-inch)Next-day delivery
iPad AirNext-day delivery
iPadMay 2
iPad miniNext-day delivery
MacBook Air (M1)May 4-May 6
MacBook Air (13-inch)Next-day delivery
MacBook Air (14- and 16-inch)June 6-June 20
Mac mini (256GB)Next-day delivery
Mac mini (512GB)May 4-May 6
Mac Studio (M1 Max)May 6-May 13
Mac Studio (M1 Ultra)June 20-July 4

On the other hand, you don’t have to listen to Apple’s earnings call to learn that purchasing specific Apple items might result in a lengthy wait. A rocky quarter for Apple’s tablet business has calmed down a little for the iPad, which was the only business division to witness sales decline in the March quarter. As of this writing, all iPad models in the San Francisco Bay region were available for next-day delivery, save for one. You’ll have to wait until next week to get your hands on an iPad 10.2 (2021).

According to Apple CFO Luca Maestri, supply constraints on the iPad were “severe” during the March quarter.

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Supply limitations are wreaking havoc on Apple’s Mac portfolio at the moment. Apple’s online site only had the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the 256GB Mac mini available for next-day delivery. All other models suffered delays of at least a week in the case of the MacBook Air M1 to mid-June for the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro variants. A Mac Studio with an M1 Ultra chipset may not arrive until the Fourth of July if you place a purchase before July 1.

Apple told investors on a conference call that it was keeping an eye on Covid-related shutdowns in China, but that most assembly plants in what CEO Tim Cook called “the Shanghai corridor” were now back up and ramping up production.

Changes to Covid-19 and other components weren’t enough to halt Apple’s recent rise. In the March quarter, the corporation recorded revenues of $97.3 billion, an increase of 9% over the prior year and a new record high. March quarter sales records were set for the iPhone, Mac, wearables/home/accessories and services divisions. The services category saw $19.8 billion in total sales.

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The company’s bottom line will benefit from that business as it reorganises its supply chain. Apple’s services range from its video, gaming, and music streaming subscription services to its mobile payments company. As Maestri points out, Apple’s installed base of devices is at an all-time high. This means that many customers might be utilising Apple services while they wait for new hardware to arrive.

It’s impossible for Cook to predict when Apple will be able to cut the wait period for Macs. He responded to an analyst’s enquiry on Mac lead times by saying, “We’re working hard.” I want to bring the new Macs to as many people as possible.

“We’re not really projecting when we can get out of the silicon scarcity,” Cook said. “That’s a tough one to answer, isn’t it? The COVID problem, I believe, is only a blip on the radar. As a result, I’m holding out hope that things will improve with time.”

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During today’s (April 28) results announcement, it was not mentioned whether difficulties with production shutdowns and component shortages will affect future products like the iPhone 14, which is scheduled to be released this autumn. Because the predicted release date of the iPhone 14 is so far in the future, it would be impossible for Apple to offer a firm response even if it wanted to, this is in part by design. Apple usually refuses to comment on unannounced products. In any case, it’s worth keeping a watch on, much as we do with the wait times for Apple’s current items

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