Good news for iPhone 14 supply as factory lockdowns ease in China
Foxconn, the maker of iPhones and other Apple products, says that some COVID-19 restrictions are being relaxed at its Zhengzhou factory in China.
The factory, dubbed iPhone City because it is the world’s biggest iPhone plant and the only one assembling Apple’s best iPhone, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, has been in various degrees of lockdown for weeks. COVID-19 restrictions previously led to riots, with some employees seen fleeing the factory rather than being placed under restrictions.
Now, Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reports that Foxconn is ending its “point-to-point” system, one which meant that “employees had to restrict daily movements to between their dormitories and the campus.” Foxconn confirmed the news via its official WeChat account, with the move coming after local authorities lifted the “high-risk COVID” status from the area around the factory.
China has been in the middle of a COVID reckoning in recent weeks, with demonstrations taking place as the population questions its zero-COVID approach. Country-wide restrictions have since eased, however. There is no longer the requirement for mandatory COVID testing in public spaces, for example.
The fate of iPhone City is an important one for Apple as well. With the factory being the only one capable of producing the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, any impact on its production lines directly affects the ability of customers to buy those handsets.
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max were already difficult to get hold of before the issues in Zhengzhou began, with reduced manufacturing capacity then causing Apple to admit that stocks would continue to run dry. However, anyone ordering one of those models today could see it arrive within just two weeks — a timeframe that is significantly improved over the month-long wait that was in store very recently.
Those hoping to get an iPhone even sooner could try this trick, too.