Supply Constraints Cost Apple $6 Billion in Q4 2021
Apple's revenue for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021 came in under expectations, which Apple CEO Tim Cook said was caused by supply constraints on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
In an interview with CNBC, Cook said the supply issues cost Apple around $6 billion.
"We had a very strong performance despite larger than expected supply constraints, which we estimate to be around $6 billion," Cook told CNBC's Josh Lipton. "The supply constraints were driven by the industry wide chip shortages that have been talked about a lot, and COVID-related manufacturing disruptions in Southeast Asia."
For the last several months of the year, Apple has experienced long lead times on multiple products, including Macs and iPads. With the iPhone 13 launch, available models sold out quickly and Apple has been unable to keep up with demand, and the same goes for the Apple Watch Series 7.
Going forward, Cook said that he expects "solid year-over-year revenue growth" in the December quarter, but Apple will to continue facing supply problems. COVID related manufacturing problems have "improved greatly," but Cook says that chip shortages "linger on." According to Cook, older chips are the ones that are in short supply rather than newer A and M-series chips used in newer Apple devices.
Cook said that Apple primarily buys leading-edge nodes and is not having issues with those, but on legacy codes, there is competition from many different companies on supply. He said that he isn't sure when supply will improve as it is difficult to forecast when things will balance. Apple's operational team is working to cut down on cycle ties and improve yields to remedy the situation.
During the quarterly earnings call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that the impact of supply constraints will be greater in the December quarter. iPad sales will drop year over year due to the supply constraints, but Apple expects revenue in all other categories will grow.