Apple said Sunday that output at an iPhone 14 Pro assembly plant in Zhengzhou, China has been hit hard by Covid 19 restrictions, which will delay shipments.
“The facility is currently operating at significantly reduced capacity,” the company said in a statement, referring to the mega-factory owned by Taiwanese company Foxconn, which is a major supplier for Apple.
With the Christmas shopping season approaching, Apple said it expects lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than it had anticipated and that customers will have to wait longer to get their new devices.
The plant is a city within a city that employs hundreds of thousands of workers making iPhones and other high end electronics.
In early October, supervisors at the plant suddenly announced that 3,000 workers had been taken into quarantine after someone tested positive for Covid-19 at the factory.
Foxconn has said it faces a “protracted battle” against infections and imposed a closed loop bubble around the sprawling campus in Zhengzhou, in central China.
Local authorities locked down the area surrounding the factory on Wednesday, but not before reports emerged of employees fleeing on foot and a lack of adequate medical care at the plant.
China is the last major economy committed to a zero-Covid strategy, persisting with snap lockdowns, mass testing and lengthy quarantines in a bid to stamp out emerging outbreaks.
But new variants have tested officials’ ability to snuff out flare-ups and dragged down economic activity with the threat of sudden disruptions.