Apple warns customers of longer waiting times in getting their hands on the latest iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models.

Foxconn Technology Group says it imposed anti-virus measures on the factory in Zhengzhou following virus outbreaks.
Foxconn Technology Group says it imposed anti-virus measures on the factory in Zhengzhou following virus outbreaks. (AP)

Apple Inc. has warned customers they'll have to wait longer to get its latest iPhone models after anti-virus restrictions were imposed on a contractor's factory in central China.

The company's announcement on Sunday gave no details but said the factory operated by Foxconn in the central city of Zhengzhou is “operating at significantly reduced capacity.”

“We now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated,” the company said. 

“Customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products.”

Foxconn Technology Group said earlier it imposed anti-virus measures on the factory in Zhengzhou following virus outbreaks.

Apple and Foxconn previously hadn't responded to questions about how iPhone production might be affected.

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Last week, access to the industrial zone where the factory is located was suspended for one week following a surge in infections in Zhengzhou and the departure of workers from the factory.

The lockdown is expected to cause further disruptions to the plant, which in recent weeks has seen a spate of coronavirus infections and an exodus of workers, some of whom fled the factory on foot.

Foxconn said in a statement that it is revising its outlook for this quarter downward due to the lockdown.

“Foxconn is now working with the government in a concerted effort to stamp out the pandemic and resume production to its full capacity as quickly as possible,” the company said on Monday.

It also said that the provincial government has said it will “fully support” Foxconn in managing the plant's pandemic prevention and operation situation.

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'Three million fewer iPhones'

In a post on the Zhengzhou plant's WeChat social media account on Sunday, the company said a “closed loop” system would restrict its employees’ travel between their dormitories and the factory area to manage risks of Covid-19 transmission.

The last quarter of the year is typically a busy season for companies like Foxconn as they ramp up production ahead of the end-of-year holiday rush.

“We are working closely with our supplier to return to normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every worker,” Apple said.

A Bloomberg News report on Monday has reported Apple Inc expects to produce at least 3 million fewer iPhone 14 handsets than originally anticipated this year, primarily due to softer demand for the lower-end iPhone 14 and 14 Plus models.

Meanwhile, Apple on Sunday flagged lower shipments of its high-end iPhone 14 models, the Pro and Pro Max, than previously anticipated following a significant production cut at a virus-blighted plant in China.

The company, however, said demand remained strong for the Pro and Pro Max models, without commenting on the demand for iPhone 14 and 14 plus models.

Apple did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on the Bloomberg report outside regular business hours.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies