Apple warns of iPhone 14 Pro’s limited availability ahead of holiday season


iPhone 14 Pro held in hand
Your iPhone 14 Pro order might not arrive until after Thanksgiving.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Planning on getting the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max this holiday season? Getting your hands on one might be more difficult than you anticipate.

The latest COVID-19 curbs in China’s Zhengzhou have hampered the production of the latest Pro iPhones. Due to this, Apple now expects customers to wait longer to get their new iPhones.

Apple expects customers to wait longer for their new iPhones

Recently, the world’s largest iPhone factory in China — owned by Foxconn — went into total lockdown due to COVID outbreaks. The Apple contractor is running the factory in a “closed-loop system” to prevent the further spread of the virus. Due to this, workers at the factory have to stay in on-site dormitories.

Reports claim employees have been complaining about the “increasingly unsafe and inhumane working conditions” of the dorms.

In its announcement, Apple says it is seeing strong demand for the iPhone 14 Pro series. However, the facility in Zhengzhou, China, that assembles these iPhones is running at “significantly reduced capacity,” worsening the demand-supply imbalance.

The company now expects to ship lower iPhone 14 Pro units for the holiday quarter than expected. In turn, customers will have to wait longer to get their hands on the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iPhone factory lockdown will affect Apple’s holiday quarter revenue

The October-December quarter is typically Apple’s largest quarter in terms of revenue. This year, the iPhone 14 Pro series was expected to account for the lion’s share of the shipments and revenue. But the ongoing production issues will weigh down on the company’s holiday quarter revenue. In the US and other major markets for Apple, there’s already a 3-4 weeks wait time for the new iPhones.

Despite a downturn in the smartphone market, Apple has seen strong demand for the iPhone 14 Pro series since its launch in September. The company usually catches up to demand a few weeks after the release of the new iPhones and ahead of the holiday season. This year though, that’s not going to happen due to the lockdown in Foxconn’s plants.

If anything, the situation will further push Apple to diversify its supply chain and reduce its reliance on China. The company is already asking its suppliers to expand their production facilities in India and Vietnam for its products.


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