According to a new report, development of at least one iPhone 14 Model has been stalled for three weeks due to Chinese lockdowns. This could lead to delays in production and even impact initial production volumes.
Sources who spoke with Nikkei Asia said that even though restrictions have been eased, the effects of lockdowns in Shanghai in March were still affecting supply chains.
It is difficult to make up the time lost. Apple and its suppliers are working round the clock to accelerate development,” stated an Apple supplier executive, noting that Shanghai’s reopening pace is “rather slow”.
Apple has apparently instructed suppliers to accelerate product development efforts in order to make up the time lost before the delay affects a typical manufacturing schedule. This could then impact the initial production volumes for the iPhone 14 series.
Apple will launch four new iPhone models in the coming year. Apple will offer four new iPhone models for 2022, following disappointing sales of the iPhone 13 mini.
The lockdown delays are affecting which model directly, it is unclear. According to Nikkei sources, the current engineering verification test (or EVT) stage for all four iPhone 14 models is complete. All new iPhone models must pass the EVT before they can move on to the verification stage at the end of June.
After the iPhone’s development phase, Apple’s primary assemblers Foxconn, and Pegatron, will enter into a phase called new product introduction (or NPI). This is where the manufacturing process for the latest designs is mapped out. NPI is followed up by several verification steps before mass production can begin, typically starting around the end August.
According to another source, “If the development process can speed up and move to the next level at the beginning or end of July, then it should still make it possible to meet the mass production deadline in September.” It all depends on how quickly the process can be accelerated.
According to reports, production was hampered due to restrictions on travel and living in the Greater Shanghai region. Despite the relaxation of restrictions in Shanghai, and other areas nearby, China’s entire supply chain has not yet been able to return to normal.
Chiu Shihfang, a veteran supply-chain analyst at the Taiwan Institute for Economic Research, said to Nikkei that the situation could not only impact production, but also affect new product development. Chiu said that the recovery of the supply chain would take at most one to two additional months.