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Apple faced with shortage of power chips for iPhone 12

iPhone 12 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)
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Ahead of the profitable holiday shopping season world over, Apple is said to be faced with problems over supply of power management chips for iPhone 12 and other devices.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is suffering from a shortage of power chips because of trade restrictions and supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic, which unfortunately is showing no signs of abating.

The company is working out plans to stem the rot. But it is not clear how much of the impact will the shortage have on the company's bottom line in the shopping season.

The Bloomberg report does not explain as to which of Apple's power chip suppliers is facing issues.

In general, most suppliers to Apple tend to prioritize it over other companies.

5G and cameras are power-suckers in iPhone 12

Power chips are pivotal in Apple's iPhone 12's scheme of things. The iPhone 12 caboodle --- iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max —  are all said to be power-guzzlers, primarily due to 5G connectivity and camera features.

"Main Apple chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said in October that 5G smartphones require 30% to 40% more chip content versus 4G," the report claimed.

"During a recent conference call with analysts, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook warned about supply constraints for the iPhone 12, Mac, iPad and some Apple Watch models -- although he didn’t specifically mention power-management chips," the report added.

Apple had special features for iPhone 12

Apple kind of understood that the new iPhone will be a power-consumer, and so had come up with special hardware and software features for iPhone 12. 

For instance, its "Smart Data Mode," organically switches between cellular connectivity between 5G and slower, but less taxing, LTE networks depending on network speeds and device usage.

For the record, the iPhone board includes the Apple A14 Bionic SoC layered with Micron memory, Samsung flash storage, Qualcomm's 5G and LTE transceiver, Qualcomm's 5G modem, Apple's U1 chip and power management controller, and an Avago power amplifier and integrated duplexer.

The Apple iPhone 12 features a 6.1-inch Super Retina OLED (828x1792) XDR display and has a dual-camera setup on the back with both cameras being capable of 4K 60fps recording. It's a 12MP wide camera with an f/1.6 aperture and a 12MP ultra-wide shooter with an f/2.4 aperture and a field of video of 120 degrees. The camera also gets Smart HDR 3 as well as Night Mode support. 

On the inside, it is powered by A14 Bionic Hexa-core chip. It runs on iOS 14 and supports wireless charging, as well as proprietary fast charging. It features Sub-6GHz 5G technology.

It is not known whether other devices in the Apple stable are faced with the same production issues or not.

Balakumar K

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.