SpaceX apologized to Starlink customers after delaying some bookings, saying a silicon shortage had slowed production of its Internet components.
Starlink, a SpaceX subsidiary, told customers who paid a $100 deposit in the first half of the year that a beta version of the satellite Internet service should be up and running in their region by mid-to-late 2021.
This week, booking customers took to social media to complain that they would have to wait until next year to get Starlink, despite having waited months for the service.
"The silicon shortage over the past six months has slowed our expected production and impacted our ability to fulfill many Starlink orders this year," Starlink said in an email. The email was posted on Twitter and forwarded to Insider by a customer who had subscribed to the service before May.
"We apologize for the delay and our engineering, supply chain and production teams are working hard to improve and streamline our products and factories to improve our productivity," it added.
Starlink said in the email that customers who have booked can check their estimated delivery times on their Starlink account.
Starlink has previously said that a global chip shortage is delaying the production of user terminals — the dishes that connect 1,639 satellites in orbit.
One customer, Jesse Nowlin, who ordered Starlink from his San Diego property in February, told Insider that the company said he would have access to the service in mid to late 2021. But Starlink has pushed that date back to January 2022, he said.
Nolin placed a second Starlink order at a different location in May, but he told Insider that the order has been pushed back to mid-to-late 2022." These are rural areas, and satellite Internet is the only option," he said.
"' First come, first served 'is something that some of us are unhappy with.
The company lied to us, "one Reddit user posted on Wednesday.
Another Reddit user said they were considering returning the deposit.
"Is it the end of 2022?
I'll probably be gone by then, "they said.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Insider reported in October that some customers who booked Starlink canceled their $100 deposit after waiting as long as nine months, while another Insider report in September said customers were becoming increasingly frustrated because they couldn't call or email the company's customer service department to get updates.