The Chinese government lifted the COVID-19 lockdown in Zhengzhou, China, the location of the Foxconn facility where most iPhone Pro models are assembled. This raises the possibility that normal operations at the facility will resume soon.
Lockdowns in the area have dramatically lowered assembly of Apple handsets… possibly by as much as 80%.
COVID lockdown caused big problems in ‘iPhone City’
iPhone components are produced all around the world, but most are shipped to an enourmous Foxconn plant in China to be assembled into handsets. So when a government-ordered lockdown hit that facility earlier this month, it was a problem for Apple.
But the lockdown in Zhengzhou has now been lifted, according to CNN.
Analyst Dan Ives from Wedbush calls this, “Some good news in what has been a horror show for Apple around iPhone production, operating at ~20%-30% of capacity over the past month we believe.”
That said, it’s very unlikely normal operations will resume immediately. Workers protesting living conditions and pay recently clashed with police as they were required to stay in on-site dormitories and never leave the plant during the lockdown.
And Foxconn almost certainly can’t make up the shortfall this quarter. “The total iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max shipments in 4Q22 will be 15–20 million units less than expected,” reports analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF International Securities.
Problems producing the two “Pro” models are especially bad for Apple as these are apparently more popular than the lower-cost iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus versions.
As it stands now, an order placed on Nov. 30 from Apple’s online store for a base model iPhone 14 Pro won’t be delivered until Dec. 30 at the earliest. But a standard iPhone 14 ordered from Apple is available for same-day delivery.