iPhone 14 is at risk of delay
Source of Nikkei said that the many-month blockade policy in China made the development process of at least one high-end Apple iPhone model behind schedule.
Apple has asked its suppliers to speed up the development process to make up for previous delays. In the worst case scenario, the production schedule, the output of the first batch of new phones may be affected.
“It’s hard to make up for the delay… Apple and its suppliers are working continuously to accelerate development”led a supply partner for Apple to share.
Development progress is 3 weeks behind
Apple is about to launch 4 new iPhone models by the end of the year. Rumors say that the device line will have 2 screen sizes including 6.1 inches (iPhone 14, 14 Pro) and 6.7 inches (iPhone 14 Max, 14 Pro Max). The iPhone mini version with a 5.4-inch screen may be scrapped due to low sales.
Apple’s main partners, Foxconn and Pegatron, are responsible for planning new product launches, also known as NPI (New Product Introduction). During this phase, suppliers work with Apple to outline the manufacturing process, bringing the device from drawing to life for mass processing.
After the NPI is a period of rigorous Apple verification, which ensures the device is in mass production according to the schedule, which usually occurs at the end of August. Although not participating in the NPI process, Nikkei said partner Luxshare Precision Industry has received production orders for two iPhone 14 models.
Currently, iPhone 14 models are in the process of technical verification, called EVT. At this stage, the supplier will design the mechanical parts, create the machining process and bill of materials (BOM) to calculate the manufacturing cost.
Normally, iPhone models will complete EVT, move to the test phase at the end of June, and prepare for mass production from late August or early September. However, the blockade policy in Shanghai makes one EVT steps are 3 weeks behind normal. On May 17, Shanghai just declared a “Zero Covid” status after 6 weeks of blockade.
“If development is accelerated, moving to the next phase in late June or early July, the supply chain can still meet the mass production schedule from early September. depends on whether the acceleration takes place early or not”sources close to Nikkei said.
It takes 1-2 months for the supply chain to recover
In April, Apple warned that the new outbreak could cause sales to drop 8 billion USD in the second quarter. China’s travel restrictions have made it difficult for the company to send leaders and engineers to the country over the past two years, making it difficult to monitor production.
Pegatron’s iPhone assembly plants in Shanghai and Kunshan had to be interrupted for weeks due to strict blockade policy. On May 16, the facility in Shanghai was licensed to operate under a closed process.
The lingering restrictions in China make it difficult for plans to get production back on track, said Eddie Han, an analyst at Isaiah Research.
“The resumption of production has not been smooth because there are still many restrictions on living and moving in crowded areas of Shanghai, even if production facilities can operate under a closed process. … At the moment, we don’t think the delay will have an immediate impact on the product launch schedule, but it’s important to watch closely for any long-term impact.” Han commented.
“The operation of the entire supply chain in China has not yet returned to normal even though Shanghai and surrounding areas have opened up,” said Chiu Shih-fang, a supply chain analyst with the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research. Loan made a similar point. She thinks it will take at least 1-2 months for the supply chain to recover.
Apple, Pegatron and Foxconn all declined to comment for the information.
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