iPhone 14 supply could get even worse as COVID hits world's largest factory

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
(Image credit: Christine Chan / iMore)

Foxconn has confirmed that the world's largest iPhone manufacturing plant in Zhengzhou, China is in the middle of a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the news, the company maintains that iPhone production remains "relatively stable" with employees being offered support.

Foxconn says that a "small number of employees" are affected by the COVID-19 virus and that the company "is providing the necessary guarantees for livelihoods, including material supplies, psychological comfort, and responsive feedback.”

Foxconn and indeed Apple will be hoping that the situation doesn't worsen, with its new best iPhones, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro still hard to come by following their release last month.


Foxconn was forced into making an official statement following widespread discussions of the issue on Chinese social networks, reports the South China Morning Post. Those posts report a strict lockdown at the problem plant, with some complaining that Foxconn isn't doing enough to ensure COVID-19 transmission is kept to a minimum.

The Foxconn campus in Zhengzhou houses almost 300,000 people with the company having already banned employees from eating in its cafeterias and ordering them to eat in their dormitories and workplace to avoid mingling with others. “Operations and production in the Zhengzhou park are relatively stable with health and safety measures for employees being maintained,” Foxconn maintains.

The city itself continues to try to avoid wider COVID-19 problems, putting local lockdowns in place as cases arise. The city, which houses 10 million people, reported 23 new cases on Wednesday.

As for the impact this could have on Apple, that remains to be seen. Foxconn, at least externally, seems confident in its measures and that production is on track. But with iPhones already difficult to buy in Apple Stores and with weeks-long delivery estimates online, Apple will hope that's the full story.

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.