Why Are There Always iPhone Shortages?

A Decade of Production and Still Low Supply

It has become expected.  Whenever a new iPhone launches people flood to preorder the new device.  But then, when it is finally available, the product is sold out everywhere.  Even the Apple website shows that there is no availability for many weeks to come.

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How is it that after a decade of producing a popular phone, the company still struggles with producing enough units to fill the pockets of those who want to buy it?  Why does it seem that the shortages get worse and worse each year?

The answer to the iPhone shortages isn’t a simple matter of making more product.


Three Reasons there are iPhone shortages

Creating a product is a lot of work.  But Apple has gotten that down to an art.  They know what their market wants, they understand what people are looking for, and they have the engineers, software developers, and programmers to implement it.  But having enough product on hand at launch time is a bit trickier than most people realize.  Building millions of these devices takes a lot of time.

How many will be needed?  There is a lag between when the product is launched, and when they are available to purchase.  This time where people can pre-order is essential so that Apple can understand just how many units they need to make.  Each year the phone’s price increases; this risks driving away dedicated fans.  Pre-order data helps know how many are needed, but doesn’t give much lead time to produce them.

Last Minute Changes.  Apple has been known to make changes to the device shortly before it is produced.  While a change of moving a screw to a new place, or repositioning the battery doesn’t seem like a big deal, it is a huge deal when you’re talking about making millions of devices.  When you have more than one device (iPhone 8, iPhone8+, iPhone X) one change means revamping three products.

There aren’t enough parts.  Android users love to make fun of Apple users; Apple users love to make fun of Android users.  In reality, they’re all computing machines that do the same thing using the same parts.  But when everyone is trying to use the same parts for their devices, there are literal shortages when it comes to sourcing components.  Some companies even blame other companies for their shortage of parts.

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It’s not one factor that plays into the reason that Apple has a tough time keeping their product on the shelves.  It’s a whole host of them that all work together to create a perfect storm.  And it appears that creating a product, and producing millions of them in a matter of a few weeks, actually is a logistical nightmare and quite the process.


iDoctor Fixes iPhones

Whether you were able to snag a new phone on release day, or whether you had to wait a month or two, there’s a good chance you will drop it.  And if it cracks, you will want to get your investment repaired.  Don’t worry, we fix iPhones (and android phones too of course).  Bring it to either of our Billings locations, or give us a call at 406-272-6516 and our mobile repair van can come to you.