Heatwave in China may hurt iPad supply


Future iPhones might need a Vapor Chamber cooling system
It's hot and dry enough in China to affect iPad production.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

It’s hot in China. Hot enough that the government is ordering industries in parts of the country to temporarily halt electrical consumption so there’s enough left for air conditioning. An Apple analyst warns that iPad assembly could be affected.

Apple is expected to launch a redesigned budget iPad and an updated iPad Pro this autumn, and production problems could limit their availability.

Government-ordered power outage in China may affect iPad supply

iPad components come from around the world, but these come together into assembled tablets in China. So a problem in China after slows iPad supply. That includes the heatwave currently gripping parts of the country.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities warned Monday via Twitter, “A temporary power outage in Sichuan may affect iPad assembly plants in Chengdu (Foxconn) and Chongqing (Compal).”

Temperatures over 105 degrees have caused increased demand for A/C. At the same time, a drought has reduced hydroelectric power generation. “Industrial users across 19 out of 21 cities in the province were ordered to suspend production from Aug. 15 until Aug. 20 to prioritise residential power supply,” reports Reuters.

A short-term shutdown might not affect iPad supply, according to Kuo. “Although it’s difficult to assess impacts on production currently, impacts should be limited if the power outage can end on August 20,” said the analyst. “In addition, flexible production scheduling by assemblers should also help lower the impact of power outages.”

Two new iPad models on the way

Tipsters point to a pair of new iPad models launching this autumn. The budget model will supposedly have a larger screen and the flat edges Apple includes in its other tablets. It’ll remain the last iPad with a Home button, but the headphone jack is allegedly going away.

An upgraded iPad Pro is also supposedly in the offing for fall 2022. Leaks point to an Apple M2 processor and a mysterious couple of ports.

Based on its previous practices, Apple is unlikely to delay the release of these because of the current assembly problems in China, but the issue could mean a reduced supply of the tablets at launch.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.