Apple is likely to launch its iPhone 14 lineup in September just like every year but looks like things might go very smoothly for the company this year. The Cupertino-based tech giant has told its suppliers to speed up iPhone development after China’s strict COVID-19 lockdowns hampered the schedule for at least one of the new phones, Nikkei reported on Wednesday, citing multiple sources with knowledge of the matter. Also Read - How to record the screen on your Mac computer: A step-by-step guide
Apple iPhone 14 series launch expected to get delayed
Lockdowns due to China’s zero-COVID policy led iPhone assembler Pegatron Corp to suspend operations at its Shanghai and Kunshan plants earlier this year. Also Read - New iPad Pro with M2 chip and improved cameras may launch this year
Financial hub Shanghai remains largely paralysed by a city-wide lockdown, which is now in its seventh week, while Beijing has ramped up quarantine efforts. Also Read - Apple App Store rules to change again to meet Dutch govt regulations
Apple last month forecast bigger problems as COVID-19 lockdowns snarled production and demand in China, with the war in Ukraine adding to the iPhone maker’s woes. In the worst-case scenario, Apple expects the manufacturing schedule and initial production volumes of the new phones to be hurt, the Nikkei business daily reported.
As per an executive with an Apple supplier, “It is challenging to make up for the lost time. … Apple and its suppliers are working around the clock to speed up development.” He further added that the pace of reopening in Shanghai is “rather slow”
For the unversed, Apple is expected to launch 4 models under its iPhone 14 series including iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Max.
As per the report by Nikkei, if the development process can be sped up right now and reach the next level by “the end of June or beginning of July”, then there are chances that it can meet the mass production deadline of early September. However, this can only be achieved if the process is accelerated soon.
Another person familiar with the matter revealed that the operation of the entire supply chain in China has not yet returned to normal, even though Shanghai and its neighboring regions are now open. He further added that it will “not only affect the production but also new product development. It would take at least one to two more months for the supply chain to recover”.
(With inputs from Reuters)