The COVID-19 lockdowns that were put in place in China towards the end of March might be easing now, but the effects continue to ripple through the tech industry, disrupting manufacturing plants and supply chains.
And Apple is not immune to such disruptions.
According to a report by Nikkei Asia, one of the upcoming iPhone 14 “models is about three weeks behind the usual schedule due to the lockdowns in Shanghai.”
It’s unclear if it is the iPhone 14, 14 Pro, 14 Max or 14 Pro Max that is affected.
It’s important to recognize that the manufacturing of the new iPhone 14 hasn’t yet begun. According to sources speaking to Nikkei Asia, the new iPhone 14 models are at the engineering verification test, or EVT, stage.
The expected timetable is that new iPhone models will complete the EVT stage by the end of June.
Following the EVT stage, new products enter the new product introduction (NPI) process, where the manufacturing process is fleshed out in preparation for production.
Foxconn and Pegatron handle this NPI step, the companies responsible for assembling iPhones.
What’s interesting is that Nikkei Asia has learned that another company — Luxshare Precision Industry — has secured orders to assemble the iPhone 14 despite not being part of the NPI process.
This could be an indication of how seriously Apple takes this speed bump put into the system by the lockdowns.
“If the development process can be sped up and proceed to the next level around the end of June or beginning of July, then it should still be possible to meet the mass production deadline of early September,” a source told Nikkei Asia. “But it really depends on whether the process can accelerate soon.”
How much of a delay have the lockdowns put into the system?
Veteran supply chain analyst Chiu Shih-fang told Nikkei Asia that he believes that “it would take at least one to two more months for the supply chain to recover,” but that the launch of the iPhone 14 might not be affected.