Apple Expected to Fall Short of 6 Million iPhone 14 Pros Due to Protests at Zhengzhou Plant

As worker unrest continues onsite of Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant in China, Apple is expected to face a shortfall of up to an estimated six million iPhone 14 Pro units.

Foxconn’s plant, which is often referred to as ‘iPhone City’ due to its size and importance in Apple’s supply chain, has been facing worker protests. Due to strict COVID-19 lockdowns and delayed bonus payments, workers are now taking a stand, which is drastically affecting production. According to Bloomberg, the situation could continue to escalate and evolve. Due to how tumultuous the scene is in Zhengzhou, the six million unit estimate could grow. However, this is all dependent on if Foxconn can mitigate the situation and get production back on track.

In October, COVID-19 concerns began to surface as cases were beginning to escalate. Foxconn made it clear that production would not be dramatically impacted as the situation was minimal. However, as the weeks went on, the situation worsened. The Zhengzhou plant went into lockdown and workers were to eat, sleep, work, and socialize exclusively on campus. As this began, food and medicine became more scarce. Workers began walking out as a result.

Foxconn began hiring new workers to replace those who walked out and offered bonus payments of 1,500 yuan (around $280 CAD) to those committed to working their scheduled shifts from October 26th to November 11th. However, last week, workers began to protest when it was discovered that their bonus payments were to be delayed. The situation escalated as workers began to violently attack officials.

At the time, Foxconn was vocal about the state of living conditions being untrue. The company was also convinced that the protests could be dealt with and the impact on production would not continue. At the time, the company believed it could be at full capacity by late November. As the end of the month approaches, there haven’t been any major leaps in bettering the situation.

As reported by the BBC, Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant isn’t the only location in China to be facing COVID-19 protests. This weekend, protests began in other cities such as Xinjiang, Beijing, and Nanjing. The protests resulted in the death of nearly a dozen people in an apartment fire in Xinjiang.