Apple is heavily rumored to launch new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models this year, and as per multiple sources, some big changes are in the pipeline. To start, the design is finally getting a facelift, the HDMI port and SD card slot are making a return, and in-house M2 (or M1x) silicon will likely be at their heart. However, a report from DigiTimes claims that the ongoing global semiconductor shortage might delay the mass production of Apple’s highly anticipated machines.
“Volume production of Apple’s mini-LED-backlit MacBook Pro series may have to be postponed to fourth-quarter of 2021 or first-quarter 2022 if the sudden surge in the number of COVID infections in Taiwan continues to worsen, according to industry sources,” says the report. However, the ongoing supply woes likely won’t push back the launch which is expected to happen within the next few months.
It appears that the component supply crunch will have a similar impact on the upcoming MacBook Pro models that it had on the new M1-powered iPad Pro whose shipments have been pushed by as much as eight weeks following the pre-orders. In the case of Apple’s new Mac hardware, unfavorable availability-related predictions have already started to pour in from industry analysts.
In fact, the industry-wide chip shortage is only going to worsen in the coming months, as per a Bloomberg report, which cites the resurgence of coronavirus cases in Taiwan as one of the key culprits. “The country is home to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which is the world’s most advanced chipmaker and counts Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. among its many customers. Local manufacturers also produce less glamorous — but equally critical — chips, such as display driver ICs that have been a particularly painful bottleneck for global production,” the report adds.
Apple is known to have tight control over its supply chain and is a top-priority client, which means the effects of global chip shortage will affect it to a smaller magnitude than others. However, the stakes are higher in 2021 as Apple charts a new course for its computing hardware following its divorce from Intel. The new MacBook Pro models are expected to arrive with some major changes, with one of them being a mini-LED panel that has already made its way to the 12.9-inch iPad Pro launched earlier this year. These upcoming machines are targeted at professionals with demanding workflows and will serve as a great exhibit of the route Apple is taking in the foreseeable future.