Apple cuts iPad production to meet iPhone 13 demand amid chip shortage

San Francisco: Tech giant Apple has cut back sharply on iPad production to allocate more components to the iPhone 13, a sign the global chip supply crunch is hitting the company even harder than it previously indicated, media reports say.

According to Nikkei Asia, production of the iPad was down 50 per cent from Apple’s original plans for the past two months, sources briefed on the matter said, adding that parts intended for older iPhones were also being moved to the iPhone 13.

The iPad and iPhone models have a number of components in common, including both core and peripheral chips. This allows Apple to shift supplies between different devices in certain cases.

The company is prioritising iPhone 13 output in part because it forecasts stronger demand for the smartphone than for the iPad as Western markets begin to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, sources said.

The peak of new iPhone sales also comes within months of release, so ensuring smooth production for the iPhone 13, which was released on September 24, is a top priority for Apple right now.

Demand for the iPad, however, has also been robust thanks to the rise of remote working and learning amid the pandemic, the report said.

Global shipments of iPads climbed 6.7 per cent on the year to 53.2 million devices last year, securing a 32.5 per cent global market share, far ahead of the No. 2 Samsung’s 19.1 per cent share, according to IDC data.

Total iPad shipments were 40.3 million for the first nine months of this year, up 17.83 per cent from the same time a year ago.