Rioting iPhone City plant means iPhone 14 Pro availability won't improve until 2023

iPhone in a shop window
(Image credit: Apple)

Anyone on the hunt for a brand-new iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max is unlikely to find the going any easier until 2023. That's following news that Foxconn's huge iPhone City plant will take another four weeks to get back up to speed following riots.

The Zhengzhou, China plant houses more than 200,000 workers and has been at the center of controversy in recent weeks. Workers have rioted over ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns, poor work conditions, and delayed pay. But things are looking up — and Foxconn now says that it will be able to reach full manufacturing capacity soon. But it will take time for those iPhones to reach stores, meaning it will be 2023 before matters improve.

Four weeks

Reuters reports that the local government is helping Foxconn to get the plant back on its feet, with one source saying that "capacity is now being gradually resumed with new staff hiring under way." The same source went on to say that, assuming recruitment goes well, "it could take around three to four weeks to resume full production."

The Zhengzhou plant is the only one capable of assembling Apple's best iPhones, leaving buyers of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro models frustrated at the slow replenishment of stocks at Apple Stores around the world.

The situation is no laughing matter for Apple either, with analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of the belief that the customers will simply skip the iPhone 14 Pro completely rather than wait for stocks to become available. The ongoing economic situation is also thought to be a factor in buying decisions.

Apple is already working to reduce its reliance on both Foxconn and Chinese labor following two years of disruptions thanks in large part to COVID-19 and the country's issues dealing with the pandemic.

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.