Delays in MacBook production could cause problems for Apple

It is rumored that Apple will release updated versions of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13 lines later this year. Unfortunately, the pandemic is still causing delays as manufacturers take steps to prevent additional spreads — and now those release dates could be in jeopardy.

According to a report from Nikkei Asia, Shanghai and other Chinese cities are imposing lockdowns in response to the latest wave of infections. Three of Apple’s major manufacturing partners have been affected and have halted production due to the lockdowns. Pegatron, a major iPhone supplier, stopped production at two of its locations. Quanta, a big name in the production of laptops and MacBooks, also stopped production near Shanghai.

Quanta’s move could mean Apple should push release dates for upcoming MacBook models. Quanta produces almost all MacBook models, so a delay would affect future release dates. Other major manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Lenovo may face similar setbacks.

On the positive side, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted that iPhone supplies won’t be affected as much as Foxconn can help Pegatron in production. Foxconn was also able to absorb the slack for iPads due to iPad maker Compal Electronics shutting down its operations.

The Nikkei Asia report also details how circuit board manufacturers Unimicron, BizLink and Nan Ya Printed Circuit Board Corporation also had to cease operations around Shanghai. They are key suppliers to Dell and Tesla.

About 161 companies have halted production in Shanghai and Kunshan, both huge technology sectors in China. Since China produces much of the world’s technology, this will likely affect many tech companies that do not have alternative factories elsewhere.

This will no doubt disappoint many who are waiting for MacBooks updated with the M2 processor. The MacBook Air, in particular, is rumored to have been completely redesigned to include the MagSafe 3 charger found in the current 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. The current M1 MacBook Air is already a portable powerhouse in its own right, and an M2 processor would continue that.

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