Topic: Supply constraints
Tesla On Track to Deliver First Model 3s by End of July, But Q2 Production Falls Short (Jul 3, 2017)
Update: following another release from Tesla on Monday, I’ve amended both the headline and content on this piece significantly from the first version published Monday morning.
Overnight, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had tweeted that Model 3 production would begin shortly, with the first deliveries happening by the end of July, with production ramping up slowly from there. Hitting the launch milestone is something of an achievement for a company that’s often missed its own self-imposed deadlines, but the real test is ramping production enormously above past levels, and that continues to be the achievement I’m far more skeptical of. The new numbers provided today suggest far lower total production than Tesla has promised in the past, at least in the second half of this year and first half of 2018. Later on Monday, the reason for getting that news out overnight became a little clearer, as Tesla released its production and delivery numbers for the June quarter, including a shortfall in both due to battery shortages. That’s bad news for Tesla, and more evidence of its inability to plan and execute on production in predictable ways, and therefore to meet the targets it sets itself. None of this gives me any more confidence in the longer term projections of Model 3 production.
KGI Reports High-End 2017 iPhone Production May Be Delayed (Apr 24, 2017)
Apple’s 2016 in review – Chuq von Rospach (Jan 1, 2017)
This piece explicitly disclaims the Apple is Doomed narrative, but it’s in line with quite a number of critical pieces over the past year from those who have generally been supporters of Apple. And it still draws broad conclusions about the state of Apple from a series of individual events that did and didn’t happen in 2016. I suspect Apple in 2016 was viewed more negatively than it might have been because there wasn’t a single big-bang new launch – it felt like mostly an incremental year. The one big exception was the AirPods, but they launched so late, and were themselves one of the examples of the problems Apple has faced, that it made little difference.
Reporting has suggested for some time now that Apple will be seeking to use OLED for in at least some of its 2017 iPhone models. The challenge is that OLED displays are in high demand and short supply, so supply constraints might be an issue.