The Supply Chain and the Apple Silicon Release Schedule

Today 9to5 Mac put together some great sources indicating that the supply chain problems everyone else is facing are finally catching up with Apple. At the last quarterly earnings call, Tim Cook explained that for Apple, the supply chain problem wasn’t the big money parts, but the little commodity bits and pieces.

Apple made a fortune, partly because of its mastery of the supply chain. People will write books about how they did it at some point if they haven’t already. It looks, however, like that run may be hitting a few speed bumps.

There is a lot of speculation about new iMacs, MacBook Airs, and Mac Pros. I can’t help but wonder if these emerging supply chain issues may slow down that product release pace. At WWDC 2020, Tim Cook promised Apple would finish the Apple Silicon transition in two years. You can argue about whether that deadline happens at this year’s WWDC or on December 31. Time is running out either way.

If Apple is indeed going to be supply-constrained and not able to get everything out by this artificial deadline in sufficient quantities, will they announce on time and release in very limited quantities, or will they just let the date slip and wait to announce until they can deliver more units? Historically, I think the answer would assuredly be the latter. They’d wait. I know Apple is a different company than it was 20 years ago, but I hope that even with their current size, they’d still wait.