Apple experiencing 'nightmare before Christmas' with iPhone production

Iphone Factory China
Iphone Factory China (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple is struggling to meet iPhone and iPad production goals for the holiday season.
  • Assembly was even shut down for days due to supply chain and power shortages.
  • The company could miss its iPhone 13 production goals by more than 10 million units.

Apple is experiencing a "nightmare before Christmas" scenario with its supply chain.

According to a new report from Nikkei Asia, iPhone and iPad assembly was apparently halted for days due to supply chain issues and power restrictions in China. One supply chain manager told the outlet that the situation "has never happened before" for Apple.

"Due to limited components and chips, it made no sense to work overtime on holidays and give extra pay for front-line workers. That has never happened before. The Chinese golden holiday in the past was always the most hustling time when all of the assemblers were gearing up for production."

Both of these issues combined have caused Apple to miss its production goals for the iPhone 13 lineup, iPhone SE, and iPad.

In September and October, production of the iPhone 13 range fell 20% short of previous plans, people directly involved in its supply chain told Nikkei. This was even after Apple prioritized all the necessary components for the latest flagship smartphone -- the company's most important revenue source -- at the expense of other products such as iPads and older generations such as the iPhone 12 and iPhone SE.Over the same period, the reallocation of the shared components squeezed iPad assembly even more, leading to about 50% less production volume than planned, while the production forecast for older generations of iPhones also dropped around 25%, Nikkei heard from multiple sources. The situation for iPads and older iPhones was not much improved by November.

Instead of hitting its goal of 95 million units, Apple will reportedly only make about 85 million iPhone 13 units by the end of the year. So, if you're trying to get an iPhone or iPad for the holidays, you might want to get on that sooner than later.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.