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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max may be in short supply during the holiday season

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Workers at the massive Foxconn facility have reportedly been forced to live on site in an effort to contain a covid outbreak. Protests ensued, with workers citing withheld wages and poor conditions, prompting Foxconn to offer some newly hired workers $1,400 to leave the facility.

When the strict lockdown measures went into effect earlier this month, Apple warned customers to expect long wait times on the 14 Pro models. A quick search of Apple stores in Seattle and Portland turned up Zero 14 Pro and Pro Max models in stock in any storage or color configuration. Apple’s website currently estimates a December 29 delivery date for a 14 Pro ordered today.

Kuo says this shortfall poses “major downside risks” to Apple, predicting 20-30 percent lower iPhone revenues for Q4 2022. It will also likely prompt Apple to look for other vendors for are Pro models. Kuo says the company has already moved 10 percent of production to other Chinese manufacturers, pointing out that Foxconn will likely struggle to remain the sole assembler for the 15 Pro series.

You might be out of luck if you planned on gifting someone a $1,000 phone for Christmas. But you know what, maybe that’s for the better. In fact, Kuo thinks future 14 Pro buyers won’t just wait for the device to be available in January and then buy one. Instead, most of the demand will disappear.

That makes sense. With a recession looming, more people may be willing to stick with an older phone for a while rather than upgrade. And the stock iPhone 14 isn’t particularly attractive. Compared to the Pro, it’s a very modest year-to-year upgrade. Perhaps the best option is the one that’s free and available today: upgrade to the more exciting iOS 16 if you haven’t already, rather than buying a new device.

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