According to Bloomberg, Apple’s iPhone Pro output is expected to flounder by 6 million units due to mayhem in its biggest factory in China’s Zhengzhou city.

The shortfall came after Apple had already lowered its production target for the iPhone 14 by 3 million units earlier this month. A source told Bloomberg the production delay might further deepen if the plant keeps strict pandemic measures for more weeks.

The individual said the situation might change depending on how fast Apple’s supplier Foxconn manages to restore production. Apple and supplier Foxconn expects to make up the 6 million units of lost output in 2023.

Bloomberg says Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are in high demand this year, which helps to make up for the standard iPhone 14 models’ declining sales. While most of them are made in the Zhengzhou plant, attempts to operate amid an outbreak that abides by China’s “zero-COVID” demand has pushed thousands of workers to their edge.

Manufacturing was off track in late October as employees fled en masse over the fear of the pandemic environment inside the campus. Then, after a short restoration, violent protests rocked the site on November 22 over the terms of compensation packages for new hires and COVID-related issues. 

Reportedly, the iPhone factory lost more than 20,000 freshly employed workers after the unrest. But another source told Bloomberg what really affected manufacturing were the quarantines.

According to Forbes, investment firm Wedbush Securities commented, “The zero China COVID policy has been an absolute gut punch to Apple’s supply chain with the Foxconn protests in Zhengzhou a black eye for both Apple and Foxconn.”
Foxconn has promised $1,800 bonuses to keep Zhengzhou staff from leaving the assembly lines. Local communist authorities are also assisting the recruitment process.

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