Apple warns that China’s Covid restrictions are affecting iPhone manufacturing

After a Covid outbreak at a Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, China, some workers decided to go home. Pictured here are the shuttle buses on October 30, 2022.

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Apple said in a statement Sunday that it had temporarily reduced iPhone 14 production due to Covid-19 restrictions at its main iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China.

The Foxconn-operated factory is operating at “significantly reduced capacity”. Apple said. It warned that fewer units would be shipped and customers would experience longer wait times when ordering devices.

Apple’s warning points to the possibility that it could sell fewer iPhones in the December quarter because it’s struggling to produce enough to meet demand. It previously signaled slowing growth in the December quarter of last month.

There continues to be strong demand for the affected models, which are more expensive than other iPhone models, starting at $999 and $1099.

Last week, China ordered lockdowns in Zhengzhou, where Apple does most of its iPhone manufacturing. The factory in China has been grappling with workers who fled the plant over its Covid policies and outbreaks, according to Reuters.

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China continues to pursue a “zero Covid” policy, which requires facilities like the Zhengzhou iPhone plant to operate as “closed loops” where workers are isolated in dormitories and work in factories isolated from the outside world.

It currently takes 31 days to receive an iPhone 14 Pro when ordered on Apple’s website, longer than the two-day average lead time for less expensive iPhone models, JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee said in a note on Sunday .

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