Apple has announced that fresh Covid-19 restrictions by authorities in China will impact the supply of its premium iPhones 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max models, resulting in lower-than-expected shipments. The announcement comes ahead of a major holiday shopping season in several markets including North America and Europe.
“Covid-19 restrictions have temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China. The facility is currently operating at significantly reduced capacity,” Apple said in a blog post, published on Monday.
“We are working closely with the supplier to return to normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every worker,” said Apple.
Last week, Chinese authorities enforced a seven-day lockdown in an industrial park in Zhengzhou, which houses one of the largest iPhone manufacturing facilities owned by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn.
Foxconn in a separate statement has assured that it is working with the authorities in China to resume production at full capacity as soon as possible. Foxconn also said that it is revising its outlook for the fourth quarter on account of the new restrictions in Zhengzhou.
Apple further said in the blog post that the demand for iPhone 14 Pro models continues to be strong. However, the shipments are expected to be lower than “previously anticipated” and customers will experience “longer wait times” to lay their hands on the new iPhones, which were launched a week earlier on September 7.
The iPhone 14 Pro models will account for 60-65% of the total iPhone 14 shipments in the second half of 2022, according to a revised estimate by renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in September. He said that Apple had shifted focus to the Pro models after the demand for the regular models slowed down.
Last month, Apple in its quarterly earning call for the September quarter said that it posted record revenue of $90.1 billion, growing at 8% year-on-year (YoY). The iPhone maker registered its highest-ever quarterly revenue in India on the back of “strong double-digit growth”, according to Apple chief executive Tim Cook.
Post-pandemic, many electronics companies including Apple have been looking to diversify production and expand manufacturing outside of China. Apple started early production of the iPhone 14, within weeks of its launch, at Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur factory in Tamil Nadu. Last week, Pegatron also announced that it is starting the assembly of iPhone 14 from India.