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Apple expects iPhone 14 shipments to be hit by China’s Covid curbs

Diksha Madhok, CNN Business

Apple has said that shipments of its latest lineup of iPhones will be “temporarily impacted” by Covid restrictions in China.

In a statement on Sunday, the company said that its assembly facility located in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou is “currently operating at significantly reduced capacity,” due to Covid curbs.

“We continue to see strong demand for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models,” the tech giant said. However, the company expects lower shipments for those models than “previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products,”Apple added.

Run by Foxconn, one of Apple’s largest suppliers, the facility in Zhengzhou has been grappling since mid-October with a Covid outbreak that has caused panic among its migrant workers. Last week, authorities imposed a seven-day lockdown of the area that houses the factory.

The lockdown is putting tremendous strain on Foxconn and Apple just before the key holiday shopping season begins and highlights how China’s stringent zero-Covid policy is hurting international business.

In recent weeks, top global and Chinese companies — from carmakers to tech giants — have experienced huge disruptions to their businesses as the world’s second-largest economy doubles down on its zero-Covid approach.

Things may not improve anytime soon. China’s state council reiterated its unwavering commitment to the nation’s zero-Covid policy during a press conference on Saturday, despite rumors that the government might loosen pandemic restrictions and cut quarantine days.

While Apple has become the latest victim of China’s Covid curbs, it is weathering the global economic downturn better than fellow tech giants. Last month, the company beat Wall Street analysts’ sales and income expectations for the quarter ended in September.

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