According to Reuters, Qualcomm, the company that supplies Apple with the 3G and LTE chips for iPhones and carrier-enabled iPads, is having “trouble meeting [the] demand” for 3G and 4G smartphone chips. The manufacturing shortage is said to extend to all smartphones that feature Qualcomm chips and supply constraints are expected to last throughout the rest of the year.
Yesterday, on a conference call, Qualcomm’s Chairman and CEO (Paul Jacobs) confessed the company’s struggle to meet the demand: “At this stage we cannot secure enough supply to meet the increasing demand we are experiencing”.
One of the new iPad’s main additions was 4G LTE connectivity and with the next-generation iPhone expected to follow suit, multiple analysts are drawing the conclusion that the upcoming iPhone simply won’t be ready by this year’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June because of Qualcomm’s inability to meet the demand.
Additionally, Qualcomm’s Chief Financial Officer (Bill Keitel) informed Reuters that their manufacturing struggles have lead to a sudden and hefty investment in producing additional chips:
Demand went so far ahead of availability that we’ve decided to start spending more money to get more supply as soon as possible… Any time we can’t make a customer totally happy I’m going to worry. You don’t want to give a customer a reason to go elsewhere.
In light of Qualcomm’s heavy load and unusual shortages, analysts’ predictions regarding Apple sticking with the fall unveiling and release put in place by the iPhone 4S’ launch is perfectly logical.
With Apple’s next-generation iPhone predicted to have a bigger impact on the smartphone industry than all previous iPhone releases, could Apple have exponentially increased the number of initial chip orders from Qualcomm?
Stay tuned for full coverage on Apple’s next-generation iPhone