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Protests at iPhone assembly plant could cost Apple billions

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Protests at iPhone assembly plant could cost Apple billions
Millions fewer iPhone 14 Pro units are supposedly going to be produced because of worker complaints about living conditions at the assembly plant.
Graphic: Cult of Mac/Daily Loud

Protests at a Foxconn plant in China where the two iPhone 14 Pro models are assembled will allegedly cut deeply into the supply of these handsets. Millions of units that would have been produced in 2022 without the protests supposedly now will not be.

Workers clashed with police during recent COVID-19 lockdowns at the plant, known as “iPhone City” due to its strategic importance to Apple.

iPhone 15 rumors will get you thinking about the future [The CultCast]

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The CultCast Apple podcast: iPhone 15 rumors: Coming soon to an iPhone near you?
Coming soon to an iPhone near you?
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The latest iPhone 15 rumors make it sound like we’re getting some major changes on the design front. And, while the switch from Lightning to USB-C sounds like a winner, Apple might pull one of its irritating tricks by making a handy feature exclusive to the iPhone Pro models next year.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals on your favorite Apple gear.
  • COVID-19 chaos in the Chinese factory complex known as “iPhone City” points to further supply-chain disruptions for Cupertino.
  • Find My miracles!
  • Mondo’s Severance collectibles look like a really cool way to dig deeper into the most creative show on Apple TV+.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

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Bad news for Xmas: Apple’s largest factory forced into ‘total lockdown’

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Foxconn building
Foxconn is Apple's biggest contract manufacturer.
Photo: Puddingworld, CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

Days after reports of Foxconn employees hopping fences and fleeing from their jobs, a report late Wednesday from Taiwan News says Apple’s biggest iPhone factory is now on “total lockdown.” These new restrictions may have a big impact on Apple’s sales during the crucial holiday period.

Foxconn, whom Apple contracts to manufacture the lion’s share of iPhones, Macs and other Apple products, has had employees stay in on-site dormitories in a “closed-loop system” to prevent COVID outbreaks. Employees have been complaining about the “increasingly unsafe and inhumane working conditions” of the dorms.

Why iPhone 14 Plus is delayed until October

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Why iPhone 14 Plus is delayed until October
No one can get their hands on the iPhone 14 until October. Here's why.
Photo: Apple

Three of the new iPhone 14 series models first reach customers on September 16, but not the iPhone 14 Plus. That’s on hold for three extra weeks.

Apple didn’t explain the delay, but an analyst has the likely reason why: Cupertino can’t get enough of a critical component.

Apple takes another step to avoid iPhone 14 shortage at launch

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iPhone 14 Pro models may get an always-on display, finally.
A new Chinese company has joined the iPhone 14's supply chain for the first time.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple seemingly diversified its supply chain by adding a new component supplier for the iPhone 14 lineup. Chinese company SG Micro has acquired the necessary certifications to supply components for the high-end iPhone 14 Pro series.

The move comes as Apple looks to avoid disruptions in its supply chain due to external factors.

Today in Apple history: iPad 2 leak lands insiders in prison

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The iPad Pro.
Leaking pre-release images could land you behind bars.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

June 15: Today in Apple history: iPad 2 leak lands insiders in prison June 15, 2011: Three people get sentenced to prison in China for leaking information about the iPad 2 prior to its release.

The Foxconn R&D employees receive sentences ranging from one year to 18 months. They also must pay fines between $4,500 and $23,000. If you ever wonder why more Apple products don’t leak prior to release, this might help explain why!

Your next iPad could come from Vietnam

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iPad Air 5
COVID-19 lockdowns in China force Apple to diversify iPad production.
Photo: Apple

The lockdown in Shanghai and nearby regions, and China’s strict zero-COVID policy, have forced Apple to move some iPad production out of the country and to Vietnam for the first time.

The company already expects to take an $8 billion revenue hit in the ongoing quarter due to supply chain disruptions caused by the Chinese lockdowns.

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.

Workers at Apple supplier Quanta riot over COVID-19 restrictions

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Workers at Apple-supplier Quanta riot over COVID restrictions
Quanta employees clashed with guards on Thursday night.
Photo: RFA

New video out of China shows workers at a MacBook assembly plant in Shanghai fighting with security guards. The Quanta Computer employees have been forced to live at their workplace for weeks amidst COVID-19 lockdowns ordered by the Chinese government.

The workers apparently hoped to leave the facility to go shopping.

MacBook assembly restarts after COVID-19 lockdown

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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.
There's a light at the end of tunnel of long MacBook Pro wait times.
Photo illustration: Cult of Mac

Everyone waiting for a new MacBook Pro to be delivered can take heart from a report that Quanta Computer has restarted assembling Apple notebooks. This comes after its assembly plant in Shanghai had been temporarily closed as part of the Chinese government’s attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the meantime, though, wait times for top-tier MacBooks now stretch into July.