Apple’s been struggling to keep its recently-released iPhone 14 Pro in stock during the holiday shopping season. A new report from Bloomberg says growing political unrest throughout China, and at one of Apple’s key manufacturing plans in that country, will likely slow manufacturing even further.
Apple could face a manufacturing shortfall of 6 million units of its iPhone 14 Pro line, which starts at $999, according to Bloomberg, which cited an anonymous source. Apple had already said last month that various breakouts of COVID-19 had already led to supply shortages, and that was amidst larger concerns about economic uncertainty around the globe amidst nagging inflation driven by energy prices, among other things.
“A lot of people in a lot of places are struggling,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a conference call last month. “We are still living through unprecedented times.”
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple’s key manufacturing plant in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou has been facing waves of protest, as employees speak out against China’s “zero-Covid” policy that’s often led to sweeping lockdowns.
Last week, dramatic video circulated online of workers for Apple’s contract manufacturer Foxconn clashing with security guards in haz-mat suits, protesting wages and poor food rations. Foxconn, which employs about 200,000 people around the world, is Apple’s biggest iPhone maker. It makes about 70% of iPhones shipped globally.
In a statement on its website last week, Foxconn denied that employees who tested positive for COVID-19 had been living in its onsite dormitories. The company also claimed that “allowance has always been fulfilled” in terms of paying employee contracts.