MacBook Pro launch may be another casualty of the chip shortage

A report indicates the upcoming mini LED-backlit MacBook Pro could be delayed over the chip shortage, putting Apple in company with many other major companies needing chips. (Apple)

The global chip shortage has affected multiple industry verticals, especially autos. Now, a report from DigiTimesAsia says chip shortages could delay the launch of upcoming Apple mini LED-backlit MacBook Pros.

The report cites unnamed industry sources and claims the launch could be postponed to October or November, instead of September.  Apple Insider was quick to pick up on the report’s statement that the new MacBook Pro models would be unveiled in October or November “instead of the usual September.” But AI correctly noted that Apple has never launched a MacBook Pro in September.

Still, it seems likely a delay could occur, given the continuing chip shortage with some top chipmakers suggesting the problem could persist well into 2023.  Also, Apple faced delays with MacBook Pros in April, with some speculating a component shortage then prevented revealing the new machines at WWDC 2021 as expected.

The April delays were reported by Nikkei Asia again citing unnamed sources

Apple hasn’t commented directly on the delays, although others in the industry such as Samsung have. 
A one or two month delay seems plausible, given all the delays from shortages of chips and components or the ability to assemble parts for various electronics.

Fierce Electronics has reported on a variety of supply chain disruptions that started with Covid. Initially, carmaker Toyota said it had stockpiled critically-need chips and had not succumbed to shortages that affected many other carmakers, including Ford and GM in the U.S.  But in August, Toyota said the Delta surge was cutting its production.

RELATED: Toyota succubs to chip shortage finally after Delta surge  

With companies concerned over parts availability, analysts have noted companies are resorting to inventory hoarding, which will boost DRAM and NAND prices.

Power semiconductors are a particular sore spot as well.

RELATED:  Chip,component shortages see no quick end in sight 

And there are concerns about materials shortages as well. 

RELATED:  Merck EMD's Nambiar: "The next decade will be the decade of materials" 

The Apple Macbook Pro delay, if true, shows how vulnerable even the big companies are.  A steady increase in demand for data has hit the chip and components shortage in a kind of perfect storm.

Major companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google are highly dependent on semiconductors and have plans for designing or developing their own hardware.

If Apple falls behind the eight ball in obtaining chips for Macbook Pros, it will be in good company.

The chip shortage and related issues will be discussed by a panel of  industry officials during Sensor Converge on Sept. 23 in a streaming and in-person session entitled, "The Chip Shortage (dammit!): It hurts more than just car production and now there are materials worries too" . starting at 11:15 am. PT.  Online registration is free.

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