Why new Apple products are arriving later than ever this year

Why new Apple products are arriving later than ever this year

Blame the chips—and a few other things.

Credit: Dreamstime

When 2020 came to a close, Apple was on a bit of a tear. Over the final three months of the year. It launched the Apple Watch SE and Series 6, the iPad Air, HomePod mini, iPhone 12 series, and M1 Macs, along with a surprise December AirPods Max launch.

We naturally assumed the pace would continue into the new year, with rumors swirling about new AirPods, iPads, AirTags, Apple TV, and iMacs all launching in early 2021.

We haven't gotten any of them. The rumours of a March event never came to pass and now we're hearing that there probably won't be one in April either. And out of all those new products we were expecting, only iPads appear to be on the way.

In fact, Apple has never waited this long into the new year to announce a new product. It's the first time since 2014 that it hasn't launched a new iPad in March (though it landed on April 1 that year), and you need to go back to 2013 to find a year without the launch of significant new product or update.

So what gives? Is Apple just building anticipation for the new things that we all know are on the way? Not exactly. Though hype might be part of it, there are much bigger forces that are keeping Apple's products at bay for just a little longer. And they could end up affecting every product Apple is planning on releasing this year, including the iPhone 13.

Production woes

A report in Nikkei Asia confirmed that a worldwide supply crunch has caused production delays in MacBooks and iPads, two devices that should have been shipping soon. In particular, a shortage of displays and display components have affected iPad production, while MacBooks were hit with a more specific problem concerning the mounting of components on printed circuit boards before final assembly.

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