What happened

Apple (AAPL 1.12%) stock wasn't particularly shiny or tasty on Tuesday. The tech giant's shares fell by 1.4%, a steeper drop than that experienced by the flat-lining S&P 500 index. One catalyst was a new analyst report, which although generally positive, highlighted some challenges currently faced by the iDevice maker.

So what

That morning, Samik Chatterjee of JPMorgan Chase wrote in a fresh note that the supply woes affecting the production and distribution of Apple's latest iPhone model were easing.

Citing his company's Apple product availability tracker analytics tool, Chatterjee said that the supply of the many necessary components for the iPhone 14 was being effected faster.

As a consequence, he wrote, "In the US, lead times for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus ticked up to 5 days each (vs. 1 day prior), which is in-line with timing for iPhone 13 and 13 mini last year, while Pro and Pro Max lead times tracked at 27 days (vs. 25 days prior)."

This stretch has also improved in both the massive Chinese market. In key European markets like the U.K. and Germany, it has been stable.

"Lead time" refers to the period between a customer ordering a phone and he or she receiving it.

Now what

While on the surface this is an encouraging analysis for Apple investors, it also illustrates an uncomfortable reality -- for all its size and power, the tech giant is not immune to the supply chain difficulties the world has had to cope with in recent months. Until it gets past these completely, it will struggle to post the robust growth numbers its investors have come to expect.