The laptop component shortage is beginning to ease, according to a new report today, but high demand sees 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro shipping times currently sitting at around three to four weeks.
TrendForce says that while the global chip shortage continues to affect many devices, PCs and laptops are the least affected. Although the increase in chip production has been modest, the first quarter of the year is experiencing the usual post-holiday quarter slide in demand.
Driven by forces such as the pandemic, geopolitics, and the digital transformation of everyday life, there has been a shortage of global foundry production capacity for nearly two years and shortages have been especially severe for mature 1Xnm~180nm nodes, according to TrendForce’s investigations.
Although all foundries are furiously increasing capital expenditures to expand capacity, unrealized future expansion does not ease existing supply issues. In addition, the uneven distribution of supply chain resources that has exacerbated the shortage of parts and components has yet to be definitively alleviated. Circumstances as a whole will continue affecting shipments of related whole devices. Only the PC category is expected to emerge largely unscathed in 1Q22.
Moving into 1Q22, TrendForce states, due to the limited increase in production capacity, the market’s supply situation is expected to be approximately the same as in 4Q21. However, some end products have entered their traditional off-season cycle and the slowdown in demand momentum is expected to alleviate the immediate pressure on OEMs and ODMs regarding supply chain stocking.
Apple is less affected than its competitors as Apple Silicon Macs, of course, use their own chips, which combine CPU, GPU, and unified memory. There is still a shortage of less-exciting generic components, like display drivers, but the differing lead times between M1 and M1 Pro/Max machines point to Apple being in the more enviable position of struggling to assemble enough devices, rather than being limited by components.
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