A person with direct knowledge has told Reuters that iPhone output could reduce by 30% because of the fiasco in Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant.
The outlet reported from a source that the facility won’t be able to revive production to previous levels by the end of this month. Since Apple rolled out its iPhone 14 model in mid-September, manufacturing should have been at its peak in the following months.
But the Zhengzhou factory is also Apple’s largest iPhone maker, responsible for 70% of its worldwide shipments, and is the only maker of high-end iPhone models like the iPhone 14 Pro.
Operations have been disturbed since late October after workers started to break out en masse over the fear of the pandemic control environment inside. Former employees told Reuters those who left the factory amounted to thousands.
After frantic hiring with the help of local Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities, state media Yicai on November 17 reported that Foxconn had refilled the assembly lines with 100,000 new sign-ups.
Then, supply chain woes arose again because of unresolved discontentment inside the complex. Violent protests extended for days, with videos beginning to emerge on November 23, after Foxconn told Yicai it no longer needed to find new workers.
A Foxconn source said new employees had left the Zhengzhou plant. But since they had yet to receive training or start working, this will pose no further disruption.
The South China Morning Post reported from Chinese customs data that Henan province exported 8.4 million smartphones in October—a 16.9% drop from 10.2 million in September. Zhengzhou is the capital city of Henan province.
Exports from Henan Province in the first ten months of the year were just over $67 billion. Assembling smartphones made up half of that amount, with 60 million items, half of which were to fulfill orders from the U.S.
Disrupted U.S. orders were the most significant blow to Henan’s export value, which sank by more than $609 million. Shipments to the U.S. plunged by over 1 million in October, or over 20% month over month, to $4.37 million.
According to Reuters, Wedbush Securities forecasts that many Apple retailers currently have 25% to 30% fewer iPhone 14 Pros than usual before the holiday shopping season.