Despite the huge growth in early 2021 Mac shipments - a 115% increase in the first quarter of 2021, driven by the launch of the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro - new Mac shipments will likely suffer a major drop in the first half of 2022.
The report comes courtesy of Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo's latest investor report with MacRumors, which was accepted by MacRumors. Kuo expects a drop of about 15 percent in the first half of 2022 due to several factors.
"We anticipate that the shipment of Apple Silicon processor-based MacBook models will be reduced by approximately 15% in 1H22 and attribute this to three reasons: 1) component shortages, 2) structural demand shift in the post-COVID-19 era, and 3) product transition between legacy and new models," Kuo wrote.
While structural demand for technology products of all kinds is expected to slow as more workers return to the office, new MacBook products with the Apple M1X chip are also expected to be released in October or November, which could reduce demand for last year's M1-powered models.
At the same time, Unimicron, one of Apple's major suppliers, is making a major investment in expanding its capacity and therefore should receive more orders from other buyers to reduce the threat of revenue disruption from relying too heavily on Apple.
It seems like every day a new story comes out about the delay of some product tied to the ongoing silicon project, so the fact that MacBook shipments are probably also affected by this isn't really surprising.
The news reinforces something we talked about last week, namely that the silicon shortage is not really a shortage, but a systemic deficit.
It looks more and more like Apple is going to have trouble meeting the demand for M1 MacBook products, even if it is releasing new MacBook models with an improved internal processor, which it is also likely to struggle to find for the foreseeable future.
New technology products are being released constantly and the pace and growth in the number of products is increasing every year, so whatever capacity is built.
This extra capacity will be quickly consumed by an increasing number of products, so it is likely to have little effect on the overall semiconductor supply problem.