Apple Supplier Foxconn Says Shortages Now Easing
Foxconn, the biggest assembler of iPhones, today announced that the component shortages that have constrained the supply of devices over the past two years are now showing signs of easing, Bloomberg reports.
The first quarter of 2022 is said to be experiencing a "major improvement" in parts shortages, and "overall supply constraints" are expected to ease in the second half of the year, a spokesperson for Foxconn commented at a company event earlier today. While TSMC manufactures Apple's custom-designed chips, Apple is still reliant on many industry-standard chips, such as for power management. Display drivers and power management chips have been among the components that have constrained Apple's manufacturing capabilities, and Foxconn added that power management chips remain in short supply.
The announcement is potentially an encouraging sign across the technology manufacturing industry, but TSMC has warned that chip supplies will remain tight throughout 2022. Major suppliers like Foxconn and TSMC are planning to maintain larger inventories in the future to ensure supply security.
Smartphone shipments have slowed over the past two years due to shortages, but supply chain disruption has primarily affected low-end vendors rather than titans such as Apple. Industry analysts believe that bottlenecks will not fully ease until the second half of 2022.
Nikkei Asia reported earlier this month that Apple is struggling to tackle a backlog of iPad orders because it prioritized iPhone 13 shipments instead. The 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are also still in short supply around the world.
While supply chain constraints cost Apple $6 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2021, the company's supply chain is now firmly in the process of recovering as it prepares for a slate of new product launches this year.