iPad buyers wait months for delivery as chip shortage drags on

iPad buyers wait months for delivery as chip shortage drags on

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iPad buyers wait months for delivery as chip shortage drags on
Order from Apple Stores around the world and you’ll be waiting weeks to get the 10.2-inch iPad.
Photo: Apple

Demand for some iPad models outstrips supply. And the result is customers waiting a month or more to receive their tablet. Buyers in some countries who place an order now will be waiting until March to receive it.

The problem is a shortage of the secondary processors used in the mobile computers. Apple just can’t get as many as it needs.

iPad waits average 50 days

Nikkei Asia has been tracking delivery times for iPad for almost three months in “key countries.” And while they are improving, the delays are nevertheless lengthy. “Customers ordering a new iPad (64GB model) on Apple’s website on Jan. 28 faced an average wait of about 50 days, a slight improvement from the 55-day delivery times for iPad orders placed in early December,” the site reported.

Cult of Mac performed its own tests. An order for a 10.2-inch iPad placed on the Apple UK website on February 3 won’t arrive for “5-6 weeks.” Apple Australia lists the same wait time. As does Apple Brazil.

And the United States is no exception. Order an identical $329 iPad from the Apple Store and it’ll arrive between “Mar 11 – Mar 18.”

While the budget iPad seems universally backordered, shipping delays for other models vary quite a bit from country to country. Checks of the U.S. Apple Store found that the iPad Air, iPad mini and iPad Pro can all be delivered in just a few days — that’s not true in other countries.

Global chip shortage bites Apple

Apple was unable to meet iPad demand during the holiday shopping season. And it caused a drop in shipments by as much as 21% year-over-year during the fourth quarter of 2021.

CEO Tim Cook said in January, “The issue with iPad — and it was a very significant constraint in the December quarter — was very much on these legacy nodes that that I had talked about. Virtually all the problem was in that area.”

When he says “legacy nodes,” Cook means processors that go into iPad other than the primary one. Computers use a collection of these, and the global chip shortage has put some of the ones that iPad needs in short supply.

But the problem is waning. “For March, we’re saying that we are have less [supply] constraints than we had in the December quarter,” Cook also said in January.