If you are excited the new iPad Pro 2021, or maybe some tablet that we expect Apple to introduce later in the year like new iPad or iPad Mini 6, the news probably hasn’t escaped you possible shortage (or maybe the news was escaped from you, so we are sorry you had to figure out this way).
If you try to buy one, you may find a lot of retailers out of stock or units in just a few configurations, and if you try to order one, the wait can take several months.
The presumed cause is the continuing shortage of chipsets around the world related to the Covid-19 pandemic and a few other factors that are also related to the events of 2020.
Apple has not explicitly confirmed this – although the company has come fairly close to granting it – but the evidence suggests it. However, there is reason to believe that iPads may not be as difficult to buy as some of these other devices. Let’s go through some key evidence in both directions.
What Apple has said
Apple has come as close as possible that there will be a shortage of the iPad, without saying so much.
During Apple’s second-quarter 2021 earnings call, CEO Tim Cook asked questions about the chipset shortage, saying “we expect supply to meet supply, not demand” – in other words, supply of chipsets makes the iPad scarce, not too much demand for them.
This gel rumors of the end of 2020, which reported the reason for the delay in launching and releasing the iPhone 12, not because some thought it was Covid-19, but actually because of a lack of components.
So Apple certainly seems to face a shortage as much as all the other companies involved, although at least in the case of iPhones, it found ways to get around it (by delaying release). However, it has released one product that was very difficult to buy at the time of publication: iPad Air 4.
What the iPad Air 4 can tell us
The iPad Pro (2021) isn’t the first iPad to crash due to a lack of chipsets – the iPad Air 4, launched in late October 2020, gets that crown.
A few weeks after its release, the iPad Air was out of most brick-and-mortar stores as well as online stores, and people queued outside certain Apple stores to try to buy slate (although Covid restrictions were just as to blame for these lines).
If you’re looking hard enough, you might sometimes find a weird iPad Air for sale in stores, but often if you ordered, you had several months of waiting times.
However, it didn’t last long, and the stock started to show up pretty quickly. Factor Black Friday that year, a month after its release, many stores had enough iPad Air units to sell them at a discount, although many seats were again sold fairly quickly in retrospect.
Now, however, it’s pretty easy to buy an iPad Air, so clearly the shortage didn’t last long. Maybe we’ll see the same thing happen on the 2021 iPad.
What happened to the other companies
As we said, there has been a shortage of many gaming devices due to the lack of chipsets, but there are also problems in the mobile world.
Samsung’s CEO has announced expectations Galaxy Note 21 smartphone from the company can actually be canceled, citing the imbalance between supply and demand for chipsets, although this is not yet certain.
While not all companies have spoken as publicly as Samsung and Apple, we’ve seen a few changes on the phone, most likely due to the chipset situation. Quite many Xiaomi phones has been published only months after the announcement, which the company does not usually do.
It is likely that the global technological situation has affected many other companies, of which there are only a few, easily identifiable cases above.
For the reasons mentioned above, it seems likely that the iPad Pro and other Apple tablets may have some impact, but it is worth noting that not all companies have changed their models during the shortage. For example OnePlus 9 the series was launched and went on sale at the same speed as corporate phones always.
The only way to know for sure if an iPad is hard to buy at startup is to wait until they are released and try to buy them.