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iPhone 13 delays will reportedly last until February

iphone 13 from the back
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Editor's note (Nov. 17): At least when you finally  get your iPhone 13, you'll be able to keep it going for longer. Apple's now letting people buy parts and tools to fix their iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 themselves.

There has been a lot of demand for the iPhone 13, so much so that Apple has been struggling to make enough phones. We've been tracking iPhone 13 delays for weeks, which are especially long for the Pro models. In fact, the ongoing supply chain issues mean there may not be enough iPhone 13 supply to meet demand until February 2022.

That’s according to a report from Digitimes, which claims that the supply of iPhone 13 units will face constraints through the holidays and into Q1 2022. However, it seems Apple is already hard at work ensuring supply issues end as soon as possible.

At the moment prospective iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini owners are looking at a prospective delivery date of November 17-19. Looking from the Tom's Guide office in New York, we can also see the option for in-store pickup today — though this availability will depend on what specific model you want and where you live.

Meanwhile, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have more serious delays, and you're looking at December 2 to December 9 for delivery estimates. So if you had your heart set on one of the more premium iPhone 13s before the holidays, you should get the order in as soon as you can.

Previous reports suggested that the key issue facing iPhone 13 production is a shortage of certain key chips. However, Digitimes’ report claims that suppliers are increasing production, which is gradually easing those shortages. 

While it’s not an overnight fix, it shows Apple is making good on its promise to try and boost iPhone supply. Apple has also reportedly cut iPad production by 50%, all so it has more capacity to stop iPhone 13 delays getting any worse than they already are.

Fortunately, February is estimated to be the point of “terminal demand” where supply and demand are both balanced. In other words, it should be a lot easier to buy an iPhone 13 after this point, especially if Apple can continue what it’s apparently doing.

The situation Apple finds itself in is pretty unprecedented. There have been a lot of supply chain issues over the past year or so, especially where components are concerned. The global chip shortage has affected everything from car manufacturing to game consoles, all due to suppliers' inability to produce enough chips to satisfy demand.

There isn’t one key reason why the shortage happened, but the COVID-19 pandemic has affected production capacity, as did the trade war with China. Plus, with global lockdowns taking effect in large parts of the world, there was significant demand for consumer electronics that made the problem worse.

Apple, to its credit, is one of the few companies to come out relatively unscathed. Experts have said this is down to the company’s high purchasing power and diverse supply chain links, which means it’s been able to source key components much easier than some of its competitors.

Fortunately, it sounds like there is an end in sight to all this. It just means waiting another three months for everything to calm down a little bit.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.