Apple’s iPhone 13 handset along with other must-have gadgets like the MacBook Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra could soon be short in supply. The potential stock shortages could be sparked by new Covid-19 restrictions that have come into force in China, which has led to the shutdown of two factories run by Apple supplier Foxconn in Shenzhen. The city’s 17.5million population is currently under strict lockdown measures which has led to all but essential factories shutting down, and experts are warning it could have severe ramifications for global supply chains.
It’s also been claimed the Foxconn shutdowns could even affect production of this year’s flagship, the iPhone 14.
In a statement, Foxconn had said it has made changes to the production line to minimise the impact of the new Covid-19 lockdowns. It said: “The operation of Foxconn in Shenzhen China has been suspended from March 14 onwards in compliance with the local government’s new COVID-19 policy. The date of factory resumption is to be advised by the local government.”
Foxconn went on to add: “Due to our diversified production sites in China, we have adjusted the production line to minimize the potential impact.”
Analysts, however, have claimed that if the lockdown measures rumble on for some time it could have an impact on the iPhone 14 launch.
Currently the lockdown is scheduled to last for one week, but it remains to be seen if measures are in place after this date due to China’s zero Covid policy.
Laurence Dellicott, who is the director of supplier management and supply chain services at MySupply by Avnet Silica, said: “If the lockdown was extended… this could mean delays for the launch of the new iPhone later in the year, or severely reduced output.”
While Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist, looked at whether China’s case Covid numbers could increase in the same way as Hong Hong – and the impact that would have.
Posting on Twitter Feigl-Ding said: “I have a bad feeling again—China is reinstating measures & has fired the mayors of 2 key cities. Thus far, China has shut down an industrial city, urged residents not to leave Beijing and closed down schools in Shanghai due to increase of #COVID19.
“If mainland China follows the way of Hong Kong — then China will be royally screwed. And the world’s supply chain might completely melt down for a period. HK deaths are surging so high it is approaching NYC in spring 2020–and HK hasn’t peaked yet.”
The rise in Covid cases comes amid the spread of the BA.2 ‘stealth’ subvariant of Omicron. This Covid-19 variant is already the most dominant strain in England, which is currently experiencing surging case numbers.
Published at Fri, 18 Mar 2022 06:01:00 +0000