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Apple iPhone 12 may be in short supply due to chip shortage

Reports suggest that the shortage could make it harder for Apple to meet holiday demand

Photo (c) Lalocracio - Getty Images
If an iPhone 12 happens to be on your holiday gift list, it might be a good idea to order it as soon as possible. Apple may be facing a shortage of a key chip for the device, according to published reports.

Bloomberg News quotes insiders who say the tech giant is having trouble getting access to enough computer chips that manage the iPhone’s power usage. That shortage, they say, could make it harder for Apple to meet the demand for the recently released device.

Apple introduced the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini last month, both offering 5G speed and an array of technology upgrades. Both devices are available for pre-ordering on Friday. The phones feature the A14 Bionic chip -- “the fastest chip in a smartphone” -- an advanced dual-camera system, and a Super Retina XDR display with the Ceramic Shield front cover that the company claims will increase drop performance by four times. 

iPhone 12 models also introduced MagSafe, which the company says offers high-powered wireless charging and an “all-new ecosystem” of Apple-made and third-party accessories that attach to the new iPhones.

Priority delivery

Bloomberg’s sources tell the news agency that Apple has been told it will get priority delivery of the power-managing chips from its suppliers. Unfortunately, the entire industry has faced a periodic shortage of all types of microchips because the pandemic has slowed production and snarled supply chains.

When Apple reported quarterly earnings in October, CEO Tim Cook warned investors that Apple, along with the rest of the industry, was running up against supply constraints that were posing challenges to production. 

At the time, he did not mention a type of computer chip that is in short supply. He said the issue was also providing headwinds for the production of other Apple devices. Cook said it is hard to estimate how long the supply problems might last.

According to Bloomberg, Apple secures most of its iPhone chips from Texas Instruments and Qualcomm. It says Apple designed the power-management chip in-house.

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