Apple warns of iPhone 14 shipping delays after COVID lockdown at Foxconn factory in China

Apple is warning customers they will have to wait longer to get its latest iPhone 14 models, following a strict COVID-19 lockdown at a key factory in China.

The tech giant said the Foxconn-operated plant in the central city of Zhengzhou is “operating at significantly reduced capacity”. He did not give details on the scale of the reduction.

“We continue to see strong demand for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models,” Apple said in a statement. “However, we now expect lower shipments of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max than we previously anticipated.”

Apple, which started selling its iPhone 14 line in September, said customers should expect longer wait times for the devices – but again didn’t say how long the delays would be. would.

Chinese authorities last week imposed a seven-day lockdown of the area around the Foxconn factory following a spike in infections in Zhengzhou and the departure of factory workers.

The factory, which employs around 200,000 people, has been rocked by dissatisfaction with strict measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, with many workers fleeing the site.

China reported its highest number of new COVID-19 infections in six months on Monday, as the disruption in the world’s second-largest economy spread nationwide since October.

This weekend, health officials said they would stick to tough coronavirus restrictions, disappointing investors hoping for a relaxation of the government’s zero-COVID policy.

Meanwhile, Apple plans to produce at least 3 million fewer iPhone 14 handsets this year than expected due to weak demand for lower-end models, Bloomberg News reported Monday, citing people familiar with the plan.

Foxconn tries to recruit workers

Taiwan’s Foxconn is the world’s largest contract electronics maker and Apple’s largest iPhone maker, accounting for 70% of global shipments.

It has iPhone production sites in India and southern China, but the largest is in the city of Zhengzhou in eastern Henan province.

On Monday, he said he was working to resume full production in Zhengzhou as soon as possible. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the target was by the second half of November.

At the request of the local government, Foxconn said it would implement measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, including restricting movement of employees between their dormitory and the factory area.

The manufacturer also launched a recruitment campaign, offering workers who left the factory from October 10 to November 5 a one-time bonus of 500 yuan (69 €) if they returned. He also announced wages of 30 yuan (€4.15) an hour, higher than the 17-23 yuan (€2.35-€3.18) base wages some workers told Reuters they had received. .

Foxconn said the provincial government “has made it clear that it will, as always, fully support Foxconn.”

“Foxconn is now working with the government in a concerted effort to eradicate the pandemic and resume production at full capacity as soon as possible,” he said.

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