Apple announces iPhone delays due to COVID cases in China

BEIJING (HPD) — Apple Inc is warning customers of longer waits for their new iPhone models after COVID-19 restrictions were imposed at a contractor’s factory in central China.

The company’s announcement on Sunday gave no further details, except that the Foxconn-operated factory in the central city of Zhengzhou “is operating at significantly reduced capacity.”

“Now let’s expect smaller deliveries of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max than we had anticipated,” the firm said. “Customers will have longer waiting times to receive their new products.”

Foxconn Technology Group said earlier that it had imposed anti-virus measures at the factory in Zhengzhou after detecting outbreaks of COVID-19. Apple and Foxconn had not so far responded to questions about how iPhone production might be affected.

Last week, access to the industrial zone where the factory is located was cut off for a week after a spike in infections in Zhengzhou and the departure of workers from the plant.

The quarantine was expected to further disrupt the pace of work at the plant, which in recent weeks had seen a spate of coronavirus infections and an exodus of workers, some of whom left on foot.

Foxconn said in a statement that it was lowering its forecast for this quarter due to the lockdown.

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

The provincial government, he noted, has said it will lend its “full support” to the company in preventing contagion and managing operations at the factory.

A “closed circuit” system will restrict the movement of employees between their accommodation and the factory area to reduce the risk of contagion, the company said in a post on the factory’s WeChat account.

The last quarter of the year is often a busy time for companies like Foxconn, which ramp up production ahead of holiday sales.

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

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