As in previous years, Apple will launch a new series of iPhones, likely to be called the iPhone 14 series, in the fall of 2022. Although we are still a few months away from the official announcement, plenty of information about the flagship smartphone series of Apple for 2022 have already leaked. Rumors suggest that the two iPhone 14 Pro models should benefit from many improvements, such as a 48 megapixel camera, a double cutout in the screen for the front camera and Face ID, or a new A16 Bionic chipset, And much more.
While the entire tech industry is eagerly awaiting the iPhone 14 series, a number of recent reports have suggested that we may have to wait a few more months than expected before Tim Cook takes the stage and announces the iPhone. 2022. This is not due to any delay in the development of the iPhone, but mainly due to the COVID 19 situation in China.
Earlier this week, a report claimed that Apple supplier Foxconn had increased hiring at its factories to avoid such a situation.
However, the South China Morning Post is now reporting that Foxconn halted the hiring process as the Chinese government placed the city of Zhengzhou — home to one of Foxconn’s largest iPhone factories — under lockdown in response to the novel COVID outbreak.
This news is extremely worrying for Apple, as the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou is the largest iPhone production plant in the world. The city is even sometimes called the “iPhone city”. While the Zhengzhou government has avoided imposing restrictions on the Foxconn factory — mainly because it would disrupt the entire global iPhone supply chain — the city government has just announced one week lockdown following the discovery of fourteen cases of COVID 19.
The BOE and the iPhone screen fiasco
Besides the delays due to COVID-19, another factor that could delay the launch of the iPhone 14 models is thatApple has dismissed BOE as a display supplier. Apple, for the first time with the iPhone 13 series, had pre-selected Chinese supplier BOE to supply OLED display panels for the 2021 iPhone series. However, The Elec reports that BOE arbitrarily changed the design of the panels OLED without telling Apple.
BOE claims to have simplified the design of the display circuit in order to speed up the production rate and fulfill orders from Apple. The company said it had “widened the circuit width of the thin film transistorwhich accelerated the production of screens and would have allowed more iPhone display panels to be produced. However, Apple ordered BOE to stop display production and cut ties with the Chinese display supplier after discovering this.
Even though Apple has shortlisted BOE as the display supplier for the iPhone 14 series, according to multiple reports, the company may consider offering the deal to LG and Samsung given the situation with the iPhone 13 OLED panels. If the company outsources the contract to other vendors, it could delay the iPhone 14 as the number of display vendors will decrease.
How does this affect Apple and us as consumers?
Well, for Apple, such news is extremely worrying. For the Cupertino giant, even a small delay can mean the loss of millions of dollars, let alone a delay of this magnitude. In fact, Apple’s factory in Zhengzhou had increased production (to keep iPhone supply at normal levels) when other cities were put under a state of emergency. But now the largest iPhone production line has been directly affected by the lockdown. Afterwards, the situation could have a ripple effect on the availability of the iPhone 13 series and the iPhone 14 series when it launches later this year.
This delay also affects us, the consumers, in one way or another. The COVID lockdown and restrictions mean Apple may be forced to delay the iPhone 14 by a few weeks. If you’re looking to buy the latest iPhone this fall, you might have to wait a few more weeks. The recent Shanghai and Kunshan lockdowns also showed us how even a small supply chain disruption can delay product availability by months — the ship dates for a few iPad and MacBook models on the site. Apple’s web have slipped until July this year. Also, to recoup the loss, the company might launch the iPhone 14 models at higher prices than last year.
Above all, the whole situation raises a question about Apple’s dependence on China. Due to such incidents, the company considered other countries such as Vietnam and India to spread iPhone production around the world. But, as Bloomberg reported earlier this week, Apple’s reliance on China has “caused headaches for business, investors and consumers during the pandemic“. The company could suffer huge repercussions if it does not quickly find a permanent solution to this problem.