The world’s largest iPhone factory, operated by Foxconn Technology Group in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, battles production issues due to exodus of workers and the COVID-19 outbreak. Over this holiday quarter, Apple may ship 20% fewer smartphones than anticipated.
According to the South China Morning Post, Kuo Ming-chi, an analyst covering Apple at TF International Securities, wrote on his blog on November 29 that the plant’s production “was significantly affected by laborers’ protests.” He added that only 20% of the factory’s capacity was used in November.
He expected the average capacity utilization rate to increase to 30 to 40% in December.
December quarter is generally Apple’s biggest quarter. Due to the lack of labor, Kuo reduced his prediction for overall iPhone shipments for this quarter by a fifth, to between 70-75 million units.
Shipments of the higher-end iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max were 15 to 20 million units short.
The company struggles to keep up with production.
Meanwhile, the strict COVID restrictions imposed in the world’s largest Apple iPhone factory have sparked an outcry among workers.
In addition, it also halted production in time for the Christmas and Lunar New Year holidays because several workers were either put into quarantine or fled the factory.
Late last month, hundreds of Foxconn employees confronted a large number of armed police. Foxconn plant unrest results in further iPhone delays over the holiday period.