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2021 iPhones and iPads could be in short supply

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has warned of potential iPhone and iPad shortages towards the end of this year.

"We expect supply constraints during the September quarter to be greater than what we experienced during the June quarter," said Apple CFO Luca Maestri on a call with analysts. "The constraints will primarily impact iPhone and iPad."

Crucially, September is the month that Apple is expected to unveil its hotly-anticipated iPhone 13, along with the Apple AirPods 3 true wireless earbuds and a new Apple Watch. 

In the same call, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that the global shortage of computer chips, which has so far affected everything from the production of Tesla cars to Sony PlayStation 5 consoles, was to blame.

“We do have some shortages,” Cook said, “where the demand has been so great and so beyond our own expectation that it’s difficult to get the entire set of parts within the lead times that we try to get those.”

In an effort to avoid production delays, Apple is reported to have increased its order of A15 chips for the forthcoming iPhone 13 to over 100 million. That's around 25 million more than it ordered ahead of the release of the iPhone 12.

Not that the ongoing supply issues appear to have affected Apple's bottom line. Total profits hit a staggering $21.7 billion in the last quarter, driven largely by better-than-expected iPhone sales (customers upgrading to 5G devices, basically).

The California tech giant expects the launch of the iPhone 13 to help it post "double-digit growth", but nothing approaching the 36 per cent growth Apple saw in Q3 2020. 

The iPhone 13 line-up is tipped for a 120Hz ProMotion display, an improved camera, and a smaller notch. We'll be bringing you all the latest leaks and news in the run-up to the big reveal in September.

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Tom has been writing about tech for 17 years, first on staff at T3 magazine, then in a freelance capacity for Men's Health, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile tech, electric cars and video streaming.