For the first time since the pandemic began in 2020, supply chain restrictions have forced Apple to halt production of its iPhone lineup. According to a report from Nikkei, Apple had to shut down its assembly line (several days) for the first time in more than 10 years, due to supply chain restrictions and ongoing Chinese power restrictions.
The Nikkei report shows that in this week when Apple production usually starts to work overtime to meet global demand for the holiday shopping season, but instead of workers getting extra shifts and 24-hour production schedules, workers have been taking time off.
Reasons for stopping iPhone production
Speaking about the iPhone shutdown, a supply chain manager told Nikkei: “Due to the limited components and chips, it doesn’t make sense to work overtime on holidays and provide extra pay to workers. Chinese in the past is always the most tumultuous time when all the producers were getting ready for production.”
Apple had already lowered its iPhone 13 production forecast in October. Even in November, Apple had to give up iPad shipments to keep iPhone 13 production going, and that was never enough to prevent a production halt.
Apple’s initial goal was to make 95 million iPhone 13 models in 2021, but that number has dropped to around 83-85 million at the start of December.
Sources indicate that the production of iPhone 13 models – iPhone 13 last September and October fell below 20% of its expected initial targets, according to the Nikkei Index.
Also at the same time, the iPad achieved production of only 50% of the volume expected to be produced in the same time frame (September and October). Production of older iPhones is also down 25%, and the situation was no better once the elapsed month of November began.
The full report from Nikkei offers a deeper look into the individual suppliers of iPhone 13 components and the reason for delays, as delays are caused by a myriad of reasons including Malaysian and Vietnamese lockdown measures, unexpected power restrictions in China, severe shortages of raw materials for manufacturing, and bottlenecks production, increased delivery times on components, etc. for reasons.
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