Apple’s supply chain is being badly hit by COVID-19 lockdowns in China, with the situation getting worse, say analysts. It follows Apple production being halted at three key suppliers, affecting iPhoneiPad, and Mac assembly. This has already seen shipping dates slip for build-to-order MacBook Pro models.

The worst-case scenario could see iPhone production falling behind by as many as 10 million units …

Background

While most countries are aiming to live with COVID-19 to a greater or lesser extent, China is instead attempting to eradicate the infection – likely in part because locally produced vaccines are less effective than those used in other countries.

A lockdown in Shenzhen last month forced Foxconn to halt iPhone assembly at two plants, though a combination of exemptions for closed-loop production and the company’s ability to switch to backup facilities meant that iPhone production wasn’t badly hit.

Since then, however, the assembly of Apple products has been halted in facilities belonging to Pegatron, Quanta, and Compal. Foxconn’s facility in Zhengzhou is still operating normally, with additional COVID-19 precautions, but it’s not certain how long that may last.

COVID-19 lockdowns could badly hit iPhone output

Analysts cited by Reuters say that the situation is likely to get worse.

Shipments of some Apple products, as well as Dell and Lenovo laptops are likely to face delays if China’s COVID-19 lockdowns persist, analysts said, as curbs force assemblers to shut down and closed-loop arrangements get harder to maintain.

China’s race to stop the spread of COVID-19 has jammed highways and ports, stranded workers and left countless factories awaiting government approval to reopen – disruptions that are rippling through global supply chains.

One analyst described the worst-case scenario.

“Apple may consider transferring the orders from Pegatron to Foxconn, but we expect the volume may be limited due to the logistics issue and the difficulty of equipment adjustment,” said Taipei-based Eddie Han, a senior analyst at Isaiah Research […]

As a worst-case scenario, Pegatron may fall behind on 6 million to 10 million iPhone units if the lockdowns last two months and Apple cannot reroute orders, Han said.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear