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China's COVID Lockdowns Could Mean Millions of Fewer iPhones, Per Analyst

Apple could see a shortfall in millions of fewer iPhones if Chinese Covid precautions locking down Shanghai factories persist for weeks or months.

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Patrick Holland/CNET
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In response to a new COVID-19 wave in China, the country's authorities have locked down affected areas like Shanghai and Kunshan. These areas include parts suppliers that could lead to a big shortfall of millions of iPhones, according to a new Reuters report.

Shanghai has been under lockdown for three weeks at this point. If those lockdowns last more than two months and Apple isn't able to make up production elsewhere, the delays could lead to a shortfall of 6 million to 10 million iPhones, analysts told Reuters.

The lockdowns affect Apple supplier Pegatron, which has facilities in Shanghai and Kunshan that fabricate the iPhone 13, iPhone SE, and other older Apple phones. While Apple could try to redirect some phone production to facilities in other less-affected Chinese cities like Shenzhen, logistics issues keep that from making up for most of the lost production. Of course, Shenzhen is just recovering from its own brush with COVID last month, which led to a temporary shutdown and limited reopening of Foxconn production facilities that make iPhones and other Apple products.

The lockdowns aren't just impacting Apple, as they could also affect production of Dell and Lenovo laptops. As previously reported, the lockdowns have also led to shipping delays for the latest MacBook Pro models.