Apple suppliers gearing up for new AirPods, MacBook Pro releases in late 2021

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Companies in Apple's supply chain are reportedly increasing production and hiring further staff now to meet Apple's orders for new AirPods and at least one new MacBook Pro.

Apple component suppliers are said to have "recently accelerated" their work because of "significantly stronger" orders for products being released in the second half of 2021.

According to Economic Daily News, the Shin Zu Shing company which produces bearings, is estimating that MacBook shipments will be up 15% year on year. That would mean 23 million units, and at the same time the company is expecting to decrease its shipment of AirPods by up to 30%, or up to 30 million.

There's no indication of what model MacBooks are involved, but it is most likely to be the expected revision of the MacBook Pro.

Economic Daily News says that the production increase comes after what it describes as a sluggish first half of the year. It attributes that to Apple adjusting its inventory plans, and also to issues over shortages of materials for key components.

It's further said that the company has insufficient manpower to meet its orders, and so has been "urgently" recruiting 300 further staff for its Taiwan factory.

Tuesday's report also cites sources saying that the supplier is involved in bearings for foldable phones. However, it's not clear whether this is for an Apple iPhone Fold.

The Economic Daily News has a decent track record on reporting from inside Apple's supply chain. It has a notably poorer one when it tries to predict Apple's product plans, or features.

Separately, other sources have reported that the MacBook Pro has been delayed because of a shortage of mini LED displays. Those reports also put the expected release date as being in the third or fourth quarter of 2021.

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