Apple says its best iPhones will be hard to find this holiday season

Apple iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: iMore)

Apple has confirmed that its primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max factory has been hit by COVID-19 restrictions, adding that it is now working at a "significantly reduced capacity."

The news comes days after it was reported that the Zhengzhou, China facility was in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak that had also seen the surrounding business park impacted, with local officials getting involved to ensure that lockdowns were being adhered to. Foxconn had previously said that the impact to manufacturing capacity at its 300,000-worker plant was minimal.

Foxconn had reportedly increased employee bonuses in an attempt to prevent workers from fleeing lockdowns.

An unusual step

It's unusual for Apple to confirm that stock shortages are expected ahead of time, but it did so by releasing a statement on Sunday. In it, it confirmed that "COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China," adding that manufacturing capacity was impacted.

Apple also noted that it continues to see strong demand for its high-end iPhones and that customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products" than had previously been hoped.

Anyone wishing to buy Apple's best iPhone will now face difficulties in doing so, with Apple saying that it will continue to work closely with Foxconn "to return to normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every worker."

The iPhone 14 lineup went on sale in September and stocks of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have been difficult to come by ever since. This latest news will be particularly troubling for those hoping to pick up a phone for the holiday season, while Apple could feel the effects in what is traditionally a profitable quarter.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.