Why you're waiting 10 weeks for a new MacBook Pro or Mac Studio

Why you’re waiting 10 weeks for a new MacBook Pro or Mac Studio

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MacBook assembly restarts after COVID-19 lockdown: There's a light at the end of tunnel of long MacBook Pro wait times.
You can blame COVID-19 for the lengthy wait for new Macs.
Photo illustration: Cult of Mac

Wait times for some Macs now stretch into August. Apple manufacturer Quanta Computer simply can’t assemble enough units to meet demand, as its workers revolt at lengthy COVID-19 lockdowns.

The delays caused by the lockdowns, enforced by the Chinese government in an attempt to control the spread of the highly transmissible disease, are not just irritating to customers, though. Apple predicts the problem will mean an $8 billion hit to its revenue.

COVID-19 lockdowns leave customers waiting for MacBooks

Some of Apple’s hottest products are also its hardest to find. Consumers looking for the many configurations of the 2021 MacBook Pro, Mac Studio or Studio Display are looking at waits that stretch out months.

These products are assembled by Quanta at plants in Shanghai. But the Chinese government’s attempts to control a COVID-19 outbreak in the city’s population of 25 million is hampering production.

Quanta employees are being forced to stay in dormitories at the assembly plant. For weeks, they’ve only been allowed to go to their dorms or to work. The frustration is getting to be too much for some of them.

Quanta Computer employees revolt

“Trapped in a bubble for almost two months, locked down by government decree and walled off from the outside world, Quanta Computer Inc.’s mostly low-wage workers are demanding more freedom and beginning to revolt against their overseers,” reports Bloomberg.

Workers reportedly attacked a dormitory for Quanta managers, demanding more freedom and additional pay.

They’re living 12 to a room when they aren’t working. And nobody knows when — or if — China will ease its COVID-19 lockdowns.

The sorry situation has been building for weeks. Earlier in May, a riot broke out at the Shanghai plant among workers who wanted to leave to buy necessities.

Bloomberg’s summation of Quanta’s problems is “violent clashes, mounting infections and vacant factory floors.” That’s not going to get new Macs into customers’ hands anytime soon.