The launch of the Apple M1 Silicon definitely upset the desktop chip market, and despite and in spite of compatibility reservations, the M1 Macs and MacBooks proved to be a great hit among Apple customers. Of course, that’s just the opening salvo, and there are more coming our way, some with upgraded Apple Silicon perhaps. But at least for the first half of next year, MacBooks running on Apple’s processors might see a sharp cut in shipments due to the convergence of many unrelated factors.
All markets that rely on any kind of chip or integrated circuit, which practically means all industries, have had it bad this year. The global semiconductor shortage has forced manufacturers to either cut down their production targets or push back their schedules. This, according to famed analyst Ming-chi Kuo, is one of three reasons why next year’s MacBooks will see a decline in shipments.
In particular, the shortage of power management integrated circuits has extended delivery times up to 52 weeks. This will adversely affect Apple’s ability to supply demand in time. Kuo believes that for the first half of 2022, Apple Silicon MacBooks will see 15% fewer units shipped.
Then again, the second reason for the decline is being blamed on predicted weaker demand for MacBooks in the first place. We are entering was is being called a post-COVID-19 period where many people already have had their computer needs filled by now. There is also an economic slump in terms of purchasing power that could also affect sales of the MacBooks.
Ironically, Apple will have new MacBook Airs powered by its processors by the third quarter of 2022. This will offset what could be sluggish sales for the first two quarters, but it would also make consumers think twice about buying a new MacBook that early in the game. Apple is still expected to launch new MacBook Pro models either in October or in November.