The delivery of the iPhone 14 Pro models from Apple Inc. takes longer than ever.
The delivery of the iPhone 14 Pro models from Apple Inc. is taking longer than ever as the company’s main assembly plant in China’s Zhengzhou weathers Covid lockdowns and worker unrest.
Customers buying Apple’s most premium devices in the US this year can now expect to wait up to 37 days, according to Counterpoint Research, which tracks shipping times each year. That’s much higher than the predecessor of the iPhone 13 Pro family and longer than the initial launch of the current generation. Delivery days are “significantly increasing” for iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models in all markets, according to Counterpoint analysts.
The Zhengzhou facility, operated by Foxconn Technology Group, accounts for the largest share of the world’s iPhone Pro inventory and houses as many as 200,000 employees during the peak season. It has been through a series of disruptions following a Covid outbreak in October, including an abrupt government-mandated lockdown and violent worker protests against restrictions and living conditions.
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“The zero China Covid policy has been an absolute blow to Apple’s supply chain, with the Foxconn protests in Zhengzhou being a black eye for both Apple and Foxconn,” said Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities. “We estimate that Apple now has significant iPhone shortages that could reach about 5% of units in the quarter and possibly up to 10% depending on the coming weeks in China.”
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Apple is expected to face a shortfall of 6 million iPhone Pro units this year as a result of those disruptions, Bloomberg News reports, and the company has said it expects longer shipping times this year. Apple and Foxconn, aka Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., expect to make up for lost orders this quarter by catching up with production in 2023, though it’s not certain whether customers will still want to buy at that point.
Counterpoint’s research is based on average data that the company collects three to four times a week. The current wait time in certain locations, including California, is 30 days.
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“Apple is sorry to see its flagship Pro series enter the holiday season, especially if buyers eventually move to a competing product,” said Bryan Ma of IDC. “The good thing for Apple is that it has enough ecosystem stickiness to absorb most of the leakage and meet this demand in the next few quarters.”
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This year’s iPhone Pro models are more important to Apple than ever, as they made up for sluggish demand for the mainstream iPhone 14 series. Counterpoint’s trackers found hold times for iPhone 14 handsets to be low, remaining at less than three days since launch. The company cut its production plans for the lower end devices earlier this month because of that disappointing demand.