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Apple’s new M1 chip creates a competitive advantage

How to beat the global chip shortage? the Apple way is to begin making their own.

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple Inc.
Timothy Cook, CEO of Apple Inc. since 2011. — Photo: AFP
Timothy Cook, CEO of Apple Inc. since 2011. — Photo: AFP

Apple has unveiled a super thin iMac and a new iPad Pro line which will be powered by its new M1 chip. With the M1, Apple now has control of the entire stack.

The latest iPad Pros feature a new eight-core M1 processor. The new iMac joins the existing group of Mac models powered by M1, such as MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini, marking another step forward in Apple’s transition to Apple silicon.

Apple M1 is an ARM-based system on a chip designed by Apple Inc. as a central processing unit and graphics processing unit for its Macintosh computers and iPad Pro tablets.

Looking into the advances surrounding the new chip development is Richard Barnett, who is the chief marketing officer at Supplyframe.

According to Richard Barnett , what Apple has achieved will be different from the industry norm. He notes: “Apple this week unveiled a super thin iMac and a new iPad Pro line powered by its new M1 chip. With the M1, Apple directly designs and controls its technology stack. But not every manufacturer has the resources or the strategy to embrace deep vertical supply chain and design integration. The majority leverage third party semiconductors and electronic components in its products, and remain exposed to broader supply constraints, pricing, and lead time variability.”

The consequence is that the latest move: “Keeps every business that is not Apple, but uses semiconductors and electronic components in its products, reliant on third-party suppliers.”

The situation remains challenging for most other types of businesses, as Barnett finds: “This is a tenuous position for automotive, consumer electronics, medical devices and other manufacturers that rely on these commodities.”

This issue has reached the very top of the U.S. political tree. Barnett says: “The U.S. federal government is talking about the need to invest in semiconductor ‘infrastructure,’ but such efforts are likely to take years – probably decades – to make a real impact.”

This acknowledgement of free-market failure was acknowledged by President Joe Biden during a recent virtual summit meeting with auto executives and other business leaders. The reason for focusing on vehicles is due to the dire situation faced by car and truck production. As things stand, there is a shortage of new cars and trucks stemming from shutdowns ordered last year at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

In terms of the consequences, Barnett warns: “The U.S. federal government is talking about the need to invest in semiconductor ‘infrastructure,’ but such efforts are likely to take years – probably decades – to make a real impact. This highlights the need for manufacturers to use new forms of intelligence to build diversity and resilience into their supply chains.”

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