Apple says iPhone supplies hit by coronavirus curbs in China

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iPhone 14 sales; Apple Inc.; Technology

Apple has warned customers they will have to wait longer to get the latest iPhone models after coronavirus restrictions were imposed on a contractor’s factory in central China.

The company announcement on Sunday gave no details but said the factory operated by Foxconn in the central city of Zhengzhou is working “at significantly reduced capacity”.

“We now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated,” the company said. “Customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products.”

Foxconn Technology Group said earlier that it had imposed anti-virus measures on the factory in Zhengzhou following Covid-19 outbreaks. Apple and Foxconn previously had not responded to questions about how iPhone production might be affected.

Last week, access to the industrial zone where the factory is located was suspended for a week following a surge in infections in Zhengzhou and the departure of workers from the factory.

The lockdown is expected to cause further disruptions to the plant, which in recent weeks has seen a spate of coronavirus infections and an exodus of workers, some of whom fled the factory on foot.

Foxconn said in a statement that it is revising its outlook for this quarter downwards due to the lockdown.

“Foxconn is now working with the government in a concerted effort to stamp out the pandemic and resume production to its full capacity as quickly as possible,” the company said on Monday.

It also said that the provincial government has said it will “fully support” Foxconn in managing the plant’s pandemic prevention and operation situation.

In a post on the Zhengzhou plant’s WeChat social media account on Sunday, the company said a “closed loop” system would restrict its employees’ travel between their dormitories and the factory area to manage risks of Covid transmission.

The last quarter of the year is typically a busy season for companies like Foxconn as they ramp up production ahead of the end-of-year holiday rush.

“We are working closely with our supplier to return to normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every worker,” Apple said.

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