The Apple Store in Union Square, the heart of San Francisco’s upscale tourist district, attracted more than 30 customers within minutes of opening Friday morning. Diners, young and old and even preschool-aged boys explore the atrium filled with iPhone 13s and Apple watches to try on. A placard encourages people to swap their old phone for an iPhone 13s to save money.
But a staff member couldn’t say when the iPhone 14 would be out – maybe sometime this year – or at what price. Some buyers are wondering whether the initial sale of the new product will be delayed or cost more than expected given months of supply chain disruption in China, where the phones are made.
Apple, based in Silicon Valley, about 80 kilometers south of San Francisco, outsources iPhone parts from East Asia, and its handsets are assembled in China.
Apple had to delay product launches, first in 2020, when new gadgets were on hold for a month due to China’s first wave of COVID-19, said Rachel Liao, senior industry analyst at Taipei-based Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute.
In the first quarter of this year, he said, shutdowns in China suspended production at assembly plants, including at least one operated by Pegatron. Pegatron is the No. 2, with 25% orders, after Foxconn. The two Taiwan-based companies run production in China.
Apple declined to answer questions from VOA about the state of its supply chain in China. [lt/pp]
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