In brief: The launch of the iPhone 13 lineup appears to be a resounding success for Apple, with people rushing to upgrade to the latest models. In fact, demand is so high that suppliers are now prioritizing the production of iPhone components over those needed for smartphones from other vendors.
There's a lot to like about the recently launched iPhone 13 lineup. The two mainstream models come with a mature exterior design, smaller display notch, 5G connectivity, more storage, more battery life, and better graphics performance thanks to the A15 Bionic chipset. The Pro variants include 120 Hz displays and a much-improved camera system, making them the best in terms of what Apple has to offer in an iPhone form factor.
All iPhone 13 models have received positive reviews, and many people that pre-ordered them in the US and Europe will have to wait several weeks before they'll receive their deliveries. The strong demand in the US is not unexpected, as carriers are engaged in a fierce competition to drive iPhone 13 sales with aggressive deals.
Hundreds of people were seen running into a shopping mall in northwestern China’s Shaanxi province to buy the new iPhone. pic.twitter.com/coBPsTrQ1A— South China Morning Post (@SCMPNews) September 27, 2021
According to a DigiTimes report, the same situation has manifested in China and Taiwan, with consumers rushing to buy the new iPhones and creating stampedes in shopping malls. The demand is so high that Apple's Taiwanese suppliers are scrambling to make more voice coil motors, camera modules, and other components needed for the iPhone 13 lineup -- to the point where they are prioritizing these parts over those intended for competitors like Samsung, Oppo, and Vivo.
Analysts say that Samsung's third-quarter sales fell short of initial estimates, and Chinese phone makers hold more than enough inventory of components to last them through the next month. As for the iPhone 13, the long delivery times are apparently less due to component shortages and more as a result of high demand.
Earlier this year, Apple reportedly placed 119 million orders for iPhone 13 screens, which are being made by Samsung, LG Display, and Chinese manufacturer BOE. The company wants to make 90 million iPhone 13 units by the end of the year, which would be 20 percent higher than iPhone 12 series production output over the same period of last year.
If there is a company that has been able to navigate the ongoing chip and component shortages largely unaffected, it's Apple. Many of its Chinese suppliers now have to contend with energy use restrictions, but they seem determined to make the most of the current surge in iPhone demand.