According to the United Daily News, Apple has asked Foxconn to begin recruiting workers to assemble iPhone 14 models earlier than usual, fearing that China’s lockdowns will result in shortages or delays later this year.
Despite the fact that the season for iPhone production is normally off-peak, Foxconn, Apple’s main assembly partner, has reportedly launched a large recruitment drive for its factory in Zhengzhou this week. According to reports, the company increased bonuses by 30% to attract more employees in order to meet Apple’s demands.
Apple’s instruction to increase recruitment at this time of year is ostensibly based on continued strong demand for the iPhone 13 lineup and growing concern about the impact of Chinese lockdowns on the iPhone 14’s ability to meet demand in the second half of the year. So far, lockdown measures have had little impact on Zhengzhou, encouraging Foxconn to expand its production capacity there.
In its earnings call last week, Apple mentioned supply issues caused by Chinese lockdowns. According to DigiTimes, depending on how long the lockdowns last, parts of Apple’s supply chain could be severely impacted, potentially forcing Apple to delay the release of new iPhone models later this year.
Following the lifting of Shanghai’s lockdown restrictions, Apple supplier Quanta has begun gradually resuming production of MacBook Pro models at its Chinese facility. New MacBook Pro orders were significantly delayed as a result of the measures.
All Apple suppliers have resumed production, but the iPhone 14 may be delayed
Apple’s component makers and hardware assemblers may be forced to delay the release of the iPhone 14 due to a new wave of the pandemic, according to semiconductor industry sources.
Many Apple suppliers have been forced to shut down or reduce production. As a result, ensuring timely delivery of the iPhone 14 series, which is set to go into mass production soon, will be extremely difficult for them.
Apple suppliers in Shanghai and the surrounding areas, such as Luxshare Precision and Wistron, are gradually resuming production, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Nearly all affected final assembly plants have now restarted,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. We are pleased to report that the number of infections in Shanghai has decreased in recent days.”
One of the highest concentrations of major Apple suppliers is in Shanghai and the neighboring provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Shanghai has 31 of these businesses, while Jiangsu has 79. The province of Zhejiang has another 7.
While almost all suppliers have reopened, Tim Cook admitted that it will take some time for these factories to return to normal production levels. Cook did not respond definitively to the question of whether this will affect the iPhone 14’s release date.
The iPhone 14 will be officially unveiled in September if everything goes according to plan.