It’s a very exciting time to shop for a Mac. Apple’s just announced “Unleashed” event is likely to bring new MacBook Pros, which will launch the next generation of Apple’s system on a chip. The debut of the first SoC, the M1, was so spectacular and the M1X will only build on the huge leaps in performance. When you tie it together with the rumored redesign and new features, “Unleashed” is an event we can not wait to arrive.
But there is a very real possibility that the tension will be dampened by forces beyond anyone’s control, even Apple’s. Reports of component and chip supply problems in the tech industry have been constant throughout 2021, and there are no signs that the situation will change any time soon. Moody’s Analytics said in a report on Monday that the supply chain problem could get even worse. We’ve heard reports for months that the MacBook Pro has already been delayed by months due to manufacturing and supply issues, and there’s a very real possibility that the new machine will be almost impossible to find once it’s sold.
“The PC industry continues to be hampered by supply and logistical challenges, and unfortunately these issues have not seen much improvement in recent months,” IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani said in a recent report. [Editor’s note: IDC and Macworld are owned by the same parent company, IDG.] In a separate report, Canalys analyst Ishan Dutt reiterated the same thought, saying: “The shortage of PCs is expected to last well into 2022, when the holiday season this year will see a significant portion of orders not fulfilled.”
No one wants to hear the phrase “orders not fulfilled” at a time when you could buy a new MacBook Pro, but the new machine is almost certain to be in short supply. Although Apple is the most prosperous and powerful company in the tech industry, it can only do so much to keep up with demand, which is expected to be very high. At some point, component vendors will just shrug their shoulders and say, “We’re doing everything we can.”
Supply and demanding fans
We have already seen this happen with the iPhone 13. A Counterpoint Research report about two weeks ago said that semiconductor shortages would hit the smartphone market hard, but Tom Kang from Counterpoint said in the report that “Apple appears to be the most resilient and least affected by the AP shortage situation. ”The same day that Apple announced its” Unleashed “event, Bloomberg reported that Apple reduced its iPhone 13 production targets by as much as 10 million units due to the shortage.
If you bought an iPhone as soon as it was sold at 17.00 Pacific on September 17, you could probably get it when it was shipped a week later. But ship dates began to slip not even 30 minutes after pre-orders opened, and they slipped further and further during the morning. At this writing, if you order an iPhone 13 Pro online, it will not arrive at your doorstep for another month, while the iPhone 13 will ship in three weeks. (The Apple website states that stock is available in some Apple Stores, but you are subject to inventory, which means you may not get the storage capacity and color you want.)
So being “least affected” by the shortage means waiting three to four weeks, which is an eternity when buying a shiny new Apple device. And the MacBook Pro could be even worse. Although Apple sells many more iPhones than the MacBook Pros, the rumored M1X MacBook is another beast. First, it’s the first “Pro” machine to feature Apple Silicon, and second, it’s the first redesigned MacBook this year. It is also rumored to bring many ports and features that have long been thought to be gone forever so that the demand for the new laptop can be extremely high.
As the new MacBook Pro gets a new chip, we do not know how much it will be affected by the shortage. It is possible that the shipment is not as delayed as the iPhone, but it is just as possible that the crisis will get worse due to a coincidence of problems: new design, new processor, limited components, supply chain problems and shipments delays. In short, it may be the most limited Apple product of 2021.
What you can do to get a new Mac
Vendors do what they can, but as Canalys’ Rushabh Doshi puts it: “With the supply situation throwing basket balls one after the other, PC vendors are having a harder time than anyone as they deal with this intricate and complex problem of supply and demand where there is no magic formula. ”
Is there anything a customer can do to make sure a newly purchased Mac arrives on time for the holidays? It seems that we are at the mercy of the market. If you know you want to buy a new MacBook Pro announced on October 18, place your order as soon as possible. This means that you may need to wake up earlier than usual to place your order. If you can not, check the inventory at your local Apple Store – but keep in mind that you can not customize the laptop to your needs, you need to pick and choose what is in stock.
You can also check out third-party retailers like Amazon and Best Buy on the pre-order date. Customers tend to go to Apple first as it has the largest inventory. But you may be able to play it to your advantage and find a new MacBook Pro shipped shortly to a third party.
But if none of that works and you get a delivery date in December or – gasp – 2022, that’s fine. After all, the best things say to those who wait. And yet we have waited so long, what is another few months.
Novel has been covering technology since the early 1990s. His career started at MacUser and he has worked for MacAddict, Mac | Life and TechTV.