This is the direct consequence of the situation of recent months in the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou (China). Delivery times for the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max continue to lengthen in several countries around the world. Apple’s main supplier is experiencing a slowdown in manufacturing at its biggest factory.
A loss of 6 million iPhones
In total, 6 million iPhone Pro could be missing in 2022, according to figures from Bloomberg published this Monday, November 28. Although the situation remains “fluid”, the Zhengzhou plant has been experiencing a slowdown in its production line for several weeks. China’s zero Covid policy had led Foxconn to confine some of its employees in deplorable conditions. Several workers had resigned during this period.
On Wednesday, November 23, 2022, hundreds of protesters rioted at the factory. They demanded the payment of a bonus and denounced their working conditions. After this new episode of tensions, more than 20,000 workers have decided to throw in the towel. A lack of personnel for the main supplier of Apple in the world. The Zhengzhou plant normally has nearly 200,000 employees.
Dependence on China
Even if the 6 million missing iPhones could be produced by the end of the year, the deadlines for ordering smartphones from Apple continue to lengthen in the United States. According to financial analyst firm Counterpoint Research, the average wait time between ordering and receiving an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max is now 37 days. This is the most significant delay since the launch of the latest model in the range. The classic iPhone 14 would not be affected, however.
“It demonstrates that everyone, including Apple, is sensitive to supply chain constraints in China due to Covid”, analysis Anshel Sag of Moor Insights & Strategy. Over the month of November, an internal source at Foxconn estimates a drop in production of around 30% in the group’s Chinese factory.
The holiday season is usually a good time for smartphone purchases. For now, analysts rule out the risk of a shortage, but the decline in smartphone manufacturing could significantly impact Apple’s revenues. Since the start of 2022, Apple (APPL) shares have collapsed by 20% on the stock market. The American giants of new technologies are going through a crisis linked to the high inflation of recent months combined with a drop in demand.