US-based tech giant Apple’s supplier Foxconn's flagship iPhone plant in China recently saw factory workers clash with security personnel. This protest at the world's largest Apple iPhone factory emerged amid strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fuelled discontent among workers.
Moreover, these strict COVID-19 restrictions also disrupted the production of new Apple iPhones ahead of Christmas and January's Lunar New Year holiday, as many workers were either put into isolation or fled the plant.
Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said, ”The worker unrest at Foxconn's plant in China could weigh on Apple's November iPhone shipments" as concerns grow over Apple's ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period.
According to reports, Foxconn is set to see a reduction in November shipments as thousands of employees quit their jobs.
However, even if one tries to shop online, wait time on Apple's website are now up to 40 days for the new iPhone 14 Pro, which is only expected to grow over the coming weeks as more consumers try to find iPhone Pros to purchase as gifts.
"Apple is still viewed as one of the more resilient stocks in the tech sector... However, Apple continues to hold off from providing official guidance given the macroeconomic uncertainty," Scholar added.
According to the reports, Foxconn's factory in China’s Zhengzhou is the only one that makes premium iPhone models, including the iPhone 14 Pro, and it is unlikely to resume full production by the end of this month.
In the West, many shoppers looking for Apple's latest high-end phones returned empty-handed from its stores this Black Friday because the smartphone giant was struggling with production snafus in China.
Dan Ives, an analyst at investment firm Wedbush, said, "iPhone shortages are accelerating and were front and centre this morning on Black Friday across many retailers, Apple Stores, and online channels.”
Ives, while referring to Apple's headquarters, added, ”We believe many Apple Stores now have iPhone 14 Pro shortages based on model or colour or storage of up to 25%-30% below normal heading into a typical December, which is not a good sign heading into holiday season for Cupertino.”
(With inputs from Reuters)
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