Apple admits China’s COVID lockdown will cut shipments of its iPhone 14 Pro models

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According to BloombergApple today announced that production of its premium iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models will be negatively impacted by the COVID shutdown in China. With the Christmas shopping season approaching, now isn’t the best time for that to happen, but the bottom line is Foxconn’s largest iPhone assembly facility in Zhengzhou is operating at reduced capacity.
In a statement, Apple said, “We now expect lower shipments of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products.” Foxconn is a Taiwan-based contract manufacturer responsible for manufacturing most of the iPhone units assembled each year.

Apple’s website states that orders for the iPhone 14 Pro models will ship in late November or early December. Last week, the Chinese government imposed a lockdown on the area encompassing the Foxconn facility in Zhengzhou until Nov. 9. A video has been posted showing an exodus of Foxconn employees fleeing campus en masse. The facility is already home to a COVID outbreak and quarantine.

In line with Apple’s comments about the factory running on “significantly reduced capacity,” Foxconn says it is lowering its fourth-quarter forecast for the company. Apple also said today that it is working with Foxconn to return the factory to “normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every employee”. In Zhengzhou, the Chinese government has ordered people and vehicles off the streets except for medical or essential reasons.

Foxconn may now find it difficult to find the extra workers and supplies it needs to keep its assembly lines running at a rapid pace. At this point in the year, Foxconn usually runs these lines “all-out” in an effort to produce as many iPhone devices as possible with the holiday season approaching. Just last week we told you that iPhone production at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory year-on-year by as much as 30%.

To keep the assembly line humming as much as possible. Foxconn runs the factory in a “closed loop” that limits contact with the outside world and forces workers to live and work on the factory site.

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have premium features not offered on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. For example, the Pro models are powered by the latest Apple-designed SoC, the A16 Bionic. Instead of the notch, these models have the shape-shifting, multitasking, Dynamic Island notification system. They also have better AMOLED displays than the non-Pro models with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Some analysts note that demand for the iPhone 14 Pro models is outpacing demand for the cheaper non-Pro handsets, the slump in production could be a major blow to Apple.

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