At least one Apple iPhone 14 model is reportedly in jeopardy of not meeting its development schedule due to issues with lockdowns in China.
Apple's manufacturer is struggling as a result of the COVID lockdowns that took place in China earlier this year (via Nikkei Asia (opens in new tab)) and, therefore, this could affect the initial production volume of the iPhone 14. To solve the issue, Apple has told suppliers to increase the speed of product development to help make up for lost time, according to multiple sources.
The model in question was not specified, however, it's believed that the tech giant is working on the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. All of the new devices are three weeks behind schedule, now in the engineering verification test (EVT) stage of development, says the report.
China originally went into a strict lockdown close to the end of March, which has now begun to have a knock-on effect to supply chains. It took until May 17th for Shanghai to announce that it had reached a "zero Covid" milestone.
"It is challenging to make up for the lost time... Apple and its suppliers are working around the clock to speed up development," said one source who is an executive with an Apple supplier. They also added that the pace of reopening in Shanghai is "rather slow".
Another person familiar with the matter noted that: "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. But it really depends on whether the process can accelerate soon."
Apple is expected to drop the iPhone mini from its iPhone 14 suite of phones with the iPhone 14 Max set to replace the latter. Whether the new design is the model that is being held up is yet to be seen, though this is presumed to just be a bigger screen. Typically, the standard Apple iPhone model (so the iPhone 14 in this case) is the biggest seller so a bigger quantity is manufactured. Could this be the model in trouble, then?
The next Apple Event is scheduled to happen on June 6th, 2022 but we won't likely find out about the iPhone 14 situation until later this year.