For a company like Apple, delays in product shipments aren’t just embarrassing, they’re also costly for everyone involved in the production chain. Fortunately, those instances are rare and happen only in the most extreme conditions. Unfortunately, those conditions might be at play again with the latest-gen iPad Pros who might not be shipping until two months because of the very feature that defines this biggest and newest Apple tablet.
There were already worries that Apple would postpone its April event and delay the iPad Pros. That was mostly because of reports that Mini LED displays were in short supply due to various economic conditions, including the global chip shortage. In addition to the new Apple M1 processor, which is also found in the latest Macs, that Mini LED panel would be one of the defining features of the 5th-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
That Mini LED feature, which Apple officially brands as “Liquid Retina XDR”, is promised to deliver brighter images and higher contrast ratios, meaning darker blacks. It is, unfortunately, also harder to make and now the reports say that the one and a half month delay could get a bit worse because of it.
Bloomberg’s sources claim that supply constraints could push shipments back to mid-July or even later. That’s already a long waiting time for a device that went into pre-order last month and is expected to officially launch in just a few weeks. Delivery dates for those pre-orders already stretch into June so another month of waiting will surely irk a few early buyers.
Of course, consumers won’t be the ones hit the hardest when missing such targets. While Apple missing $4 billion in revenue in the current quarter sounds inconsequential for such a large company, those delays will also cost assemblers and suppliers to miss their quarterly targets. Every one of those is probably hoping that when the new 12.9-inch iPad Pros do become available, they will fly off shelves to make up for lost time and profits.