Foxconn, a Taiwanese company said to be the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics and Apple’s biggest supplier, announced on Tuesday that due to the global shortage of semiconductors they have been forced to reduce production of iPhones. It was a surprising admission of just how extensive the chip shortage has become – that it is impacting Apple, one of the biggest companies in the world with virtually unparalleled buying power.
Once again, disaster strikes at the heart of the supply chain as reports are only now emerging about another factory destroyed in a major fire on March 19th that forced yet another semiconductor (chip) fabrication plant (fab) off-line. The fire took out the first floor of the Renesas Electronics factory in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan – just north of Tokyo, according to a report by the Nikkei.
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A global supply chain shortage of key semiconductors has hit automakers around the world hard, like the automatic braking solution on self-driving cars. The shortage is so severe that auto makers are literally being forced to close factories for weeks as they wait for their supply of chips. As the industry is trying to rebound from a tough 2020, this situation has become so painful, some manufacturers are turning to politicians – asking them to pressure chip manufacturers to prioritize shipments to the auto industry.