May 17, 2020

Apple iPad 2 supply still can't meet demand

Supply Chain
Supply Chain Problems
Supply Chain Woes
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Thanks to a strong consumer demand and hot-selling products like the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, Apple’s November reportedly posts record numbers
Its beginning to feel like Apple doesnt understand the most basic principle of a capitalist economy: supply and demand. While people have been demandin...

It’s beginning to feel like Apple doesn’t understand the most basic principle of a capitalist economy: supply and demand.

While people have been demanding Apple iPad 2 since its launch in March earlier this year, the company just can’t supply enough of the prized tablet to take advantage of one of the world’s hottest selling products.

It’s starting to feel like Apple doesn’t care, either.

“This is a good problem- demand is fantastic,” Apple COO Tim Cook said.

Yes, it’s a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem. If Apple wants to keep its rapidly growing customer base happy, they’ll find a solution somewhere along their supply chain to match supply with a surging demand.


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Just take a look at Apple’s quarterly revenues. The company predicts its third quarter revenues to slip from $28 billion in the second quarter to $25 billion for the third quarter, while gross margins shrink from 41 percent to 38 percent.

For most companies, decreases like that could be the beginning of the end. But this is Apple, a company that works with cutting-edge technology. They’re supposed to be the ones that would figure out a way around the shockwaves the Japan disaster sent out earlier this year.

Instead, they’re stuck with a problem. Apple can call it a good problem all they want, but eventually, any kind of problem can cause issues if left unsolved.

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Jun 16, 2021

EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs

3 min
Supply chains embroiled in Airbus-Boeing dispute will no longer be impacted by $11.5bn tariffs imposed on food and beverage, aircraft and tobacco

The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years. 

It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC. 

The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn. 

In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products. 

Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers  

  • The dispute began in 2004
  • Tariffs suspended for 5 years 
  • $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
  • $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date 
  • 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended

Both sides welcome end to tariffs 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.

“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.

Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”. 

The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."

This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.

Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”

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