iPhone 14 mass production nears as Apple reportedly taps more suppliers

a render of the rumored iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Madmix)

The iPhone 14 is expected to launch at the Apple September Event (opens in new tab) — and Apple seems to be taking steps to avoid any kind of supply chain hassles. The tech giant has added to its list of suppliers for its upcoming iPhone 14 lineup to steer clear of supply chain disruptions once mass production of the devices begin. 

According to Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab), an Apple analyst familiar with the company’s supply chain — SG Micro — a Chinese company that specializes in integrated circuits, has been added to the company’s growing list of suppliers. In a series of tweets Kuo details how SG Micro has passed the quality certification for high-end iPhone 14 models. This means SG Micro will supply components for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. 

Specifically, the Chinese company will provide power management integrated circuitry (which manages the battery) to Apple, for this year’s premium iPhones.

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Kuo notes that this is the first time SG Micro will supply components for Apple’s high-end phones which means the technical capabilities of its chip have reached “the tier-1 level” which is used by more expensive electronic devices.

 Delay in iPhone 14 production? 

Apple is gearing up for mass production of the iPhone 14 series that is set to launch this fall. But recently there has been news of possible delays on different fronts of production for the upcoming phones.

Kuo had recently said Apple faces supply issues with its panel and memory suppliers for the iPhone 14, although it should not affect the phone’s launch date. Apple apparently orders millions of components ahead of the launch, which gives the company time to produce a large quantity of units, so Kuo said it could have a “limited impact” on the shipment of the phones. 

A few months back, 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) reported that a Nikkei Asia report (opens in new tab) revealed that iPhone 14 production was delayed by three weeks due to COVID-19 lockdowns in China. This was corroborated by analyst Jeff Pu, who said the iPhone 14 Max could be the most affected model. Recently, Ross Young of Display Supply Chain Consultants also tweeted that iPhone 14 Max panel shipments are lagging way behind the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which means the most exciting iPhone 14 model could be delayed.

Apple’s other products like the iPad have also been facing supply issues. With the ongoing chip shortage, we could see limited availability of certain iPhone 14 models at launch.

Apple is expected to launch a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max (or iPhone 14 Plus), a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. This year we could really see a big difference between the iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro with only the Pro’s expected to get Apple’s new A16 Bionic processor and a potentially more powerful main 48MP camera.

The iPhone 14 Max will likely have a bigger battery as well as a bigger screen than the standard iPhone 14. Otherwise, our iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Max comparison suggests many similarities between the two phones.

There is some time between now and the rumored September launch of the iPhone 14 series, so we hope Apple can iron out their supply issues — and adding to their list of suppliers definitely seems to be a step in that direction. 

Sanjana Prakash
News Editor

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.