The production shortage of the iPhone 14 Pro Crisis is 6 million units
As workers continue to leave the factory in Zhengzhou, China, of Foxconn, Apple’s largest iPhone manufacturing partner, the production of the new iPhone 14 Pro model in the second half of the year is disrupted. Although the fourth quarter, the “season of Apple,” has come, there are also concerns that it will be a significant blow to Apple as supply problems continue.
According to Bloomberg News on the 28th (local time), the lack of production of the iPhone 14 Pro is expected to reach 6 million units this year as confusion continues in Zhengzhou, Apple’s core manufacturing hub.
The Zhengzhou plant operated by Foxconn produces most of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Although iPhone 14’s general and plus models are showing sluggish sales, two professional models have been making up for sluggish demand for sub-models as they have become all-time popular.
However, as local workers strongly protested against China’s COVID-19 containment policy, workers’ mass escape and large-scale protests are continuing at the Zhengzhou plant. More than 200,000 workers will work at Jeongzhou’s iPhone production corporation during the peak season, and more than 20,000 new workers have reportedly left after the protests.
In fact, Apple and Foxconn have increased their estimates of production shortages at Zhengzhou plants over the past two weeks. The current production shortfall of 6 million units is expected to be filled next year.
The disruption in the supply of iPhone 14 Pro models is affecting Korea as well. Based on Apple’s official website, the iPhone 14 general type and Plus will be delivered immediately from the 30th of this month, but Pro and Pro Max will be delivered from the 28th of next month. As the Zhengzhou plant is expected to fill the production shortage of the iPhone 14 Pro model next year, there is a high possibility that the delivery will be delayed further.
As the fourth quarter of each year was a time when Apple’s market share soared due to the reflection of the performance of the new iPhone, such supply problems are bound to be more painful for Apple.
Apple’s market share in the domestic smartphone market is below 20% on average. However, the market share used to soar in the fourth quarter after the release of new products every year from September to October.
They are 28% in 2019 (17% points ↑ compared to the previous quarter), 31% in 2020 (18% points ↑), and 32% in 2021 (20% points ↑). As of the third quarter of this year, the market share of iPhones in the domestic smartphone market was 13%. Although it is necessary to increase its market share again thanks to the popularity of the iPhone 14, it is not possible due to the supply crisis of professional models.
Apple’s strength in the fourth quarter is similar in the global market. Compared to the global market share of early to mid 10%, it shows a significant increase of around 20% in the fourth quarter.
Amid unfavorable factors for Apple, Samsung Electronics and other competitors are also aiming for the gap. Some in the industry predict that Samsung Electronics could take the mound early in early January for its new flagship phone Galaxy S23 in the first half of next year. This is about a month earlier than the previous ones, S22 (February 25) and S21 (January 29). In fact, if the Galaxy S23 is released in early January, there is a possibility that it will quickly occupy the market before the shortage of iPhone 14 Pro is filled.
According to Bloomberg News, an official familiar with the situation at the Zhengzhou plant said, “The normalization of supply depends on how soon Foxconn can return people to the assembly line after violent protests against Corona regulations. If the blockade continues for the next few weeks, production of (iPhone 14) could be delayed further.”
Meanwhile, Apple closed at $144.22 as of the 28th, down 2.63% from the previous day. Apple’s stock is down about 20 percent compared to earlier this year.