Earlier this week, Nikkei Asia reported that the availability of at least one iPhone 14 model could be at risk for this fall, as development has fallen three weeks behind due to COVID-related shutdowns in China. Now, analyst Jeff Pu of Haitong International Securities says that new iPhone 14 Max production is delayed by three weeks.
Apple has reportedly told suppliers to speed up their product development in an effort to make up for the lost time before the delay affects the typical manufacturing schedule. This is because multiple Apple suppliers have suspended their operations in China as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Four models are expected to launch this year – a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. Analyst Pu believes that the affected model is the long-rumored iPhone 14 Max (not the Pro Max).
Restrictions still in place in terms of living and travel in the greater Shanghai area have hampered the production of a number of products. The operation of the entire supply chain in China hasn’t yet returned to normal, despite the relaxing of restrictions in the region.
Taiwan Institute for Economic Research Chiu supply chain analyst Shih-fang told Nikkei the situation might not only affect the production but also new product development. “It would take at least one to two more months for the supply chain to recover,” said Chiu.
In an attempt to ease the restrictions’ impact on production, Apple had been planning to begin mass production of the new iPhones earlier than expected. However, Pegatron is now expected to begin mass production of the new iPhone 14 Max in late August, which is just a few weeks before the traditional unveiling of new iPhone models.
Pu predicts Apple will build 91 million iPhone 14 units by the end of the year despite production delays for the 14 Max model, which is more than the 84 million iPhone 13 units Apple shipped in 2021. However, production delays may push Apple to hold off on the official unveiling of the new handsets.