iPhone 13 delivery times hit by COVID, new camera supply

"Assemblers can still produce the new iPhones, but there's a supply gap [in] that the inventories of the camera modules are running low"

What you need to know

  • Apple's new iPhone 13 is facing lengthy delivery times.
  • A new report points to a COVID wave in Vietnam as one cause.
  • Apple is also reportedly facing issues with the supply of a new camera feature.

A new report says that Apple's best iPhone, the iPhone 13, is facing lengthier delivery times because of a COVID-19 wave in Vietnam and supply issues for new camera components.

As reported by Nikkei Asia:

Buyers of Apple's new iPhone 13 are facing longer-than-expected delivery times due to the COVID wave in Vietnam and the U.S. tech giant's deployment of a new camera feature, Nikkei Asia has learned.

The disruption is mainly associated with constrained supplies of camera modules for the four iPhone 13 models because a significant number of its component parts are assembled in Vietnam, according to people familiar with the matter.

Suppliers had reportedly expected a smooth year because of the iPhone 13's incremental upgrades over the iPhone 12, and stockpiling of key components, however, the expansion of optical image stabilization across the lineup is apparently causing issues:

"Assemblers can still produce the new iPhones, but there's a supply gap [in] that the inventories of the camera modules are running low," one of the executives with direct knowledge told Nikkei Asia. "There's nothing we can do but to monitor the situation in Vietnam every day and wait for them to ramp up the output."

The report says the situation may hopefully improve "around mid-October" with production resuming at one plant in southern plant in Vietnam following months of disruption.

As the report notes, the iPhone 13 Pro (Sierra Blue, 512GB) has a lead time of five weeks in China and Japan, and four weeks in the U.S. Apparently, even the least popular iPhone, the 13 mini, take 7-10 days to deliver.

Nikkei says that according to sources, Apple's new iPad and iPad mini 6 are also facing longer delivery times because Apple has diverted some chip production to the iPhone. Now, the company also has to contend with power issues:

Meanwhile, many Apple suppliers are now scrambling to respond to a widespread production stoppage this week in several Chinese cities in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces -- home to many tech manufacturers. Beijing's tightening control of energy consumption has led to a halt in industrial power supply across the provinces.

Analysts are indeed reporting similar impact, Economic Times cites JP Morgan's, Samik Chatterjee:

"While admittedly part of the expansion in the lead times is on account of the supply chain constraints, we still find the material increase in the lead time in Week 2 relative to Week 1 as an indicator of the robust demand for upgrades, likely exceeding low investor expectations into the launch," JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee said.

Chatterjee cites increased demand as well as supply constraints as reason for lengthy lead times. Have you struggled to get your hands on Apple's latest iPhone? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter.

iPhone 13 Pro

$999 at Apple

All-new A15 Bionic processor, new cameras, and more

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