Apple’s Mac shortage is a big red flag for enterprise computing

Enterprise buyers should expect to be frustrated purchasing new hardware in the coming months as supply chain logistics continue to deteriorate. When it comes to Apple kit, you might have the budget, but Macs are getting harder and harder to find.

Compelling is no better than constrained

Apple recently reported record fiscal second-quarter revenue of $97.3 billion, but warned that supply chain challenges could cost the company $4 billion to $8 billion over the next few months. next quarters.

“Right now, our primary focus is on supply,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

“For the second quarter…we had constraints, but they were significantly lower and driven by industry-wide chip shortages. For the future, there are two causes of constraints: Covid-related disruptions and silicon shortages. These constraints (COVID-19 containment) are mainly around the Shanghai corridor… almost all the factories concerned have now restarted. We are encouraged that the number of COVID cases in Shanghai has decreased over the past few days. »

Since then, we have heard continuous reports of shutdowns and even riots in China’s consumer electronics industry. Workers are understandably frustrated and unhappy to be cooped up in their factories for weeks on end, rather than seeing family friends. Apple supplier Pegatron cut production at its Shanghai factory this week, reports South China Morning Post. This, coupled with the war in Ukraine, means Apple is feeling pressure from both sides – supply is constrained by manufacturing and logistical issues while demand is impacted by the ongoing war and COVID-19 lockdowns. .

And Apple is not alone.

Rare supply, high demand

Okay, that’s an important story, but what does it have to do with corporate buying habits?

This results in a shortage of materials.

Shortages are reported in Apple’s distribution chain, particularly around Macs. macworld reports that only three Macs are immediately available in the US right now – all older M1 models, the 13-inch. MacBook Pro, Mac mini and iMac 24. Others show delays of two weeks or more, reaching two months for the M1 Ultra Mac Studio.

Supply chain experts began warning it was coming weeks ago as Shanghai in China entered its sweeping COVID-19 shutdown. Manufacturing delays continue to affect the logistics and distribution system. In Shanghai, hundreds of freighters are stuck awaiting delivery, creating shortages in the technology and consumer electronics supply chain.

This bottleneck is exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, while rising inflation continues to undermine consumer confidence.

danger signs

It’s the perfect storm in which this year’s business and education buying cycle is unfolding. It’s a scenario that suggests tech buyers will face some unexpected headwinds as they seek to make larger purchases, and that challenge appears to be cross-platform.

After all, while the focus is naturally on the world’s most valuable company, when it comes to enterprise use, Macs are far from dominant, although they are becoming increasingly popular. , driven by BYOD, employee choice, an expanding support ecosystem, and a growing story around ROI. .

Other PC makers, including No. 1 Dell and Lenovo, are also affected, which is becoming increasingly acute as millions of older legacy Windows devices finally reach expiration.

In a broader context of accelerating cyberattacks, Statcounter shows that around one in 200 PCs in active use today are still running Windows XP.

Since some of these are likely used behind the scenes at some large companies, security chiefs will really want to speed up upgrades, especially in the current climate. We all know that Apple and its iPads have benefited from the latest upgrade cycles. But we no longer need ransomware sneaking into corporate systems via the squeaky XP system used somewhere in any business.

At the end of the line ? Buy now, if you can

If you’re in the education or business sectors, in addition to holding back on buying pending the potential introduction of new Mac models at WWDC 2022, you might want to fast-track your purchasing decisions. tech purchase for a chance to fill your order this side of summer.

Signing up for this calendar is important, especially in the education sector. Any school administrator knows that getting materials early is critical if you want to successfully manage the annual mass rollout as the new school year rolls around in the fall. These impacts will continue to create all kinds of ripples, and it will be IT procurement teams that will have to solve the growing rebuttal of challenges. Good luck with that.

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Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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