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Protests against Covid restrictions at Foxconn factories and a slow resumption of assembly could result in six million fewer iPhone 14 Pro units being produced in 2022.
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are Apple's most sought-after models, and the company is struggling to keep them on store shelves. Protests against Covid restrictions have exacerbated the problem as manufacturing continues to suffer severe repercussions.
According to a Bloomberg report, an insider familiar with the Foxconn factory says the iPhone could be nearly 6 million fewer than expected. This number may improve as the situation in Zhengzhou changes, and is largely dependent on how quickly Foxconn can restore normal operations.
The situation is due to the tight Covid restrictions in China, requiring the isolation of workers in the Foxconn barracks. The Covid outbreak at the end of October pushed employees to breaking point, leading to widespread strikes and protests.
Foxconn tried to keep the situation under control by offering severance pay to disgruntled employees and hiring new employees en masse. The company needed at least 100,000 more employees to restart production, and was hiring so quickly that there wasn't enough room in the quarantine.
After the riots and a host of other complaints, Apple sent employees to the plant to help get things going. It's not yet clear if Apple's presence will help restore production to schedule as Covid restrictions continue.