Apple warns of hit to iPhone shipments from Chinese COVID disruptions

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Apple warns of hit to iPhone shipments from Chinese COVID disruptions © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man holds an iPhone 14 as Apple Inc’s new models go on sale at an Apple store in Beijing, China, September 16, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

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By Jaiveer Shekhawat

(Reuters) -Apple Inc on Sunday said it expects lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone Pro Max shipments than previously anticipated as COVID-19 restrictions temporarily disrupt production at an assembly facility in Zhengzhou, China.

“The facility is currently operating at significantly reduced capacity,” the iPhone maker said in a statement. “Customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products,” it added.

Reuters last month reported that production of Apple’s iPhones could slump by as much as 30% at one of the world’s biggest factories next month due to tightening COVID curbs in China.

Its main Zhengzhou plant in central China, which employs about 200,000 people, has been rocked by discontent over stringent measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, with many workers fleeing the site.

Separately, Taiwan’s Foxconn, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:)’s biggest iPhone maker, said on Monday it was working to resume full production at a major plant in Zhengzhou that had been hit by COVID-19 curbs, and revised down its fourth quarter outlook.

The impact on production comes amid a traditionally busy time for electronics makers ahead of the year-end holiday season, which is also a prime time for vendors of consumer goods like Apple.

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