China maintains a policy of zero-Covid on the Chinese mainland, meaning that whenever there is a covid-19 outbreak in its borders, the affected area immediately goes into lockdown.
The country is currently struggling to contain hundreds of infections in its Guangzhou province, with up to 19 million people in lockdown.
This has had a significant impact on the factories in the area, and in an unusual step, Apple has posted a press release announcing that supplies of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be limited for the foreseeable future.
The company writes:
COVID-19 restrictions have temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility located in Zhengzhou, China. The facility is currently operating at significantly reduced capacity. As we have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prioritizing the health and safety of the workers in our supply chain.
We continue to see strong demand for iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. However, we now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products.
There has been some hope that China would abandon its zero-covid policy in the near future, but instead, its leaders have re-iterated their stance, saying:
“Practice has proved that our pandemic prevention and control policy and a series of strategic measures are completely correct, and the most economical and effective.”
Apple says they are working with suppliers to return to normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every worker.