The turmoil in Zhengzhou, Apple’s main manufacturing center, is expected to result in lost production of nearly six million iPhone Pro units this year, according to a person familiar with assembly operations.
The situation at the plant remains fluid and the estimate of lost production could change, the person said, asking not to be named.
Much will depend on how quickly Foxconn Technology Group, the Taiwanese company that runs the facility, can get people back on the assembly lines after violent protests over Covid restrictions.
If lockdowns continue in the coming weeks, production could fall further.
The Zhengzhou campus has been hit by lockdowns and workers unrest for weeks after Foxconn and the local government struggled to contain the outbreak due to Covid infections.
Thousands of workers fled chronic food shortages in October, only to be replaced by new workers who rebelled against wage and quarantine practices.
The Foxconn facility produces the vast majority of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max devices, Apple’s most sought-after phones this year. These premium phones have picked up the slack for the slump in demand for the regular iPhone 14 models.
Apple lowered its overall production target to about 87 million units from an earlier forecast of 90 million units, Bloomberg News reported.
Apple and Foxconn have raised their estimates of the Zhengzhou deficit over the past two weeks amid mounting disruptions, the person said, adding that they expect to make up for the 6 million units of lost production in 2023.
“It shows that everyone, even Apple, is vulnerable to supply chain restrictions in China due to Covid,” said Anshel Sag of Moor Insights & Strategy.
The deficit, a significant shortfall for a company that is rolling out tens of millions of iPhones ahead of the peak holiday season, is among analysts’ more bearish expectations.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley earlier this month estimated the shortage of iPhone Pro models at about 6 million units this year, although that was before violence erupted in Zhengzhou last week.
Apple and Foxconn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/china-unrest-dents-iphone-supply-ahead-of-christmas-shopping-season-42180763.html Unrest in China is affecting iPhone supply ahead of the holiday shopping season