iPhone 12 faces supply constraints — iPads and MacBooks too, says Tim Cook

iPhone 12 with AirPods and MagSafe
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The iPhone 12 is predictably shaping up to be one of the most popular smartphones on the market. But just as predictably, Apple may not be able to keep up with demand. 

In its earnings call this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook specifically addressed the problems the company is having with keeping the iPhone 12 on the shelves, calling the supply lines "constrained" (via TechRadar).

This has certainly been a theme for the year as companies struggle to produce at typical volumes. We saw it early in the year with the Nintendo Switch and those trying to find an Xbox Series X at launch or pick up a PS5 next month can attest that the struggle is real.

iPhone 12 shortages

The iPhone 12 can now join the illustrious list of delayed products as Cook said, "If you look at iPhone, we're constrained today...how long we'll be constrained is hard to predict. We haven't taken orders yet for the iPhone 12 mini or Pro Max, so those are coming and we shall see." 

Those pre-orders start next Friday, November 6 and the iPhone 12 mini, in particular, seems like it could be an extremely popular option this year as both the cheapest iPhone 12 and the smallest iPhone in years. The iPhone 12 Pro Max will no doubt be a popular option as well, featuring both the best camera and largest battery among the iPhone 12 models.

Don't sleep on those pre-orders when they go live on Friday if you want an iPhone 12 mini or 12 Pro Max in time for the holidays.

iPad and MacBook shortages too

Cook didn't stop there. While the iPhone is the most pressing problem, Mac and iPad supplies are similarly constrained. The iPad makes sense, particularly the iPad Air (2020) as it uses the same A14 Bionic chip as the iPhone 12 models. 

The Mac shortages are a little more perplexing and maybe revealing of how widespread a problem this is as there are no recently updated Macs, something Apple may remedy before the end of the year. If you've been waiting on a new MacBook purchase, try to pick up some tips from the iPhone mini orders next week to make sure you can get your hands on your new MacBook when it is available later this year.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.