Apple: COVID restrictions in China will slow iPhone deliveries

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Apple said COVID-19 restrictions at a major factory in China will slow deliveries of iPhones ahead of the holidays.

The tech company said in a statement on Sunday the facility in Zhengzhou is “currently operating at significantly reduced capacity” amid “strong demand” for iPhone products.

“We now expect lower iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than we previously anticipated and customers will experience longer wait times to receive their new products,” the company said. “We are working closely with our supplier to return to normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every worker.”

The news comes as the busy holiday shopping season is kicking into gear for the U.S., with Americans ready to spend money despite high inflation and concerns about the economy, global consulting firm McKinsey and Company estimates.

Apple produces a majority of its products in China, which is still struggling to contain an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, posting more than 35,000 confirmed cases on Friday, according to the World Health Organization.

While not as high as the number of confirmed cases that spiked over the spring, China is reporting numbers much higher than the first two years of the pandemic, when it recorded a minimal amount of infections and deaths.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has enacted a strict policy to rein in infections through its zero-COVID policy, including mandatory quarantines for people entering the country and strict testing requirements for Chinese citizens.

While some had hoped China would ease up on its zero-COVID policy during a leadership conference last month, officials recently signaled they would not be easing up the restrictions.

To date, China has confirmed more than 9 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 28,000 deaths linked to the disease.

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