The development of at least one iPhone 14 model is lagging behind by three weeks due to China lockdowns. This delay could play a negative impact on the initial production volumes when Apple decides to launch the new flagship devices later this year.
COVID-19 lockdowns and heavy restrictions are continuing to play a role in the development of Apple’s iPhones. According to Nikkei Asia (via MacRumors), restrictions are being loosened yet still see an impact on production. Sources said that Shanghai’s lockdowns see supply chains continuing to feel the impact.
It is challenging to make up for the lost time. … Apple and its suppliers are working around the clock to speed up development,” said an executive with an Apple supplier, adding that the pace of reopening in Shanghai is “rather slow.”
As a result, Apple is said to have told its supply chain to speed up development in order to recoup lost time. The hope is that suppliers are able to bounce back before the delay affects the manufacturing schedule. If it does, the butterfly effect may see to it that initial production volumes of the iPhone 14 are impacted.
Keeping up with tradition, Apple is expected to launch four new models of its iPhone in late 2022. Based on reports, we’re expected to see a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. According to Nikkei Asia’s sources, all four models are in the engineering verification test, or EVT, stage of development. Typically, this means that all models should move on to the verification stage by the end of June. Therefore, it’s currently difficult to know which model is being impacted due to delays. It could be one specific model or it could be a few or more.
Once passing the verification stage, Apple assemblers step in for production. Barring any further hiccups, sources say that it is possible for Apple to rebound and meet its mass production deadline of early September.
“If the development process can be sped up and proceed to the next level around the end of June or beginning of July, then it should still be possible to meet the mass production deadline of early September,” another person familiar with the matter said. “But it really depends on whether the process can accelerate soon.”
There’s no official word on when Apple will reveal its line of iPhone 14 devices. As is tradition, the company usually hosts a keynote event in September to show off the mainline iPhone plus its Pro models. Pricing, availability and preorder details are also expected to be unveiled during the event.