In a nutshell: Apple announced refreshed MacBook Pros with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips back in January but according to a recent report out of Korea, chip production had to be paused for two months due to weak demand.

South Korean publication The Elec reports that Apple froze production of its M2 series of SoCs in January and February due to lower than anticipated MacBook demand. Production reportedly resumed in March, but at just half the rate compared to before.

The production hiccup impacted other cogs in the supply chain as well. Companies that supply materials and smaller components like thermal interface material, solder balls and the package lid all had to idle down as Apple regrouped. According to one insider, repurposing the M2 manufacturing line during the two-month break to accommodate other hardware production was impossible.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in early February that the company is continuing to navigate a challenging environment. Cook added that things might be a little rough in the short term but noted Apple's low share position in a large market and the competitive advantage that Apple silicon brings to the table.

Apple's challenges are a microcosm of the larger PC and tech industry.

CPU shipments experienced their biggest decline in three decades during the usually lucrative holiday quarter. PC shipments slid 28 percent during the same period, and some motherboard and hard drive vendors saw yearly shipments nearly cut in half. Logitech's peripheral and accessories business took a turn south, and smartphone shipments reached their lowest point in a decade.

In the meantime, we may have another new product category to look forward to as Apple is widely expected to unveil its long-rumored augmented reality / virtual reality ambitions this year - perhaps during WWDC in June. Some employees are reportedly concerned that Cook is rushing the launch of the headset and that it will be an expensive failure. Only time will tell.

Image credit: Do More by Remy Loz, Colorful by Andras Vas