Apple reportedly slashes iPad manufacturing to boost iPhone numbers

Iphone 13 Pro Sierra Blue Hero
Iphone 13 Pro Sierra Blue Hero (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has reportedly slashed iPad production by 50% to move capacity over to the iPhone lineup.
  • Apple is struggling as part of the worldwide chip shortage and appears to favor selling iPhones right now.

Apple has reportedly slashed its iPad production numbers so that iPhones can be manufactured more quickly. If reports are accurate, Apple has told suppliers to reduce iPad capacity by as much as 50% to allow iPhones to be given priority.

The report, from Nikkei Asia, notes that iPhones and iPads have "a number of components in common." By moving those components from iPads to iPhones, Apple is able to get more smartphones into stores more quickly.

The same report also notes that older iPhones have seen their parts moved to iPhone 13 production lines.

Apple has cut back sharply on iPad production to allocate more components to the iPhone 13, multiple sources told Nikkei Asia, a sign the global chip supply crunch is hitting the company even harder than it previously indicated.Production of the iPad was down 50% 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.

Demand for iPhone 13 remains strong and there are still considerable wait times associated with new orders. Apple also knows that peak demand for new iPhones comes within three months of release, giving it precious little time to capitalize on that demand. While iPhone 13 will be the best iPhone around for a year, demand will begin to wane eventually.

While this is obviously good news for someone planning an iPhone 13 order, it's less exciting for anyone who has an iPad in their future. With no indication of when we can expect the current semiconductor shortage to ease it isn't clear how long Apple and other companies will continue to juggle manufacturing capacity in these ways.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.