iPhone 14 shortage: Will UAE consumers face delays?

Questions regarding whether residents will receive premium models on time have arisen after Apple warned shipments would be 30 per cent lower this month

File photo
File photo

Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Wed 16 Nov 2022, 10:41 AM

Last updated: Wed 16 Nov 2022, 2:08 PM

As Apple smartphone buyers worldwide are facing delays in receiving the latest premium iPhone 14 models due to supply chain issues, buyers in the UAE are having a different experience.

Apple expects 30 per cent lower iPhone shipments in November following a significant production cut at a virus-blighted plant in China, but it is unlikely to hit fans in the UAE. Major retailers have sufficient stocks to meet the demand for new premium models of the world's leading smartphone manufacturer.

"We have sufficient stocks of iPhone 14's premium models, and all the orders are being delivered as per commitment," says one of the leading telecom service providers in the UAE.

Other retailers also informed Khaleej Times that iPhone 14 variants are in demand, but there is no shortage of stocks.

"Apple supply chain issues and [the] anticipated 30 per cent shortfall in iPhone 14 production have no serious impact in the UAE due to [the] availability of stocks in the country. We are going to receive another big shipment of iPhone 14 variants by the end of November," said a retailer requesting anonymity.

Supply issues are temporary

Earlier this month, Apple issued an alert regarding the decline in iPhone 14 production at Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant due to China's zero-Covid-19 policy, forcing some global firms to shut local stores and cut forecasts.

"Covid-19 restrictions have temporarily impacted the primary iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max assembly facility in Zhengzhou, China. The facility is currently operating at a significantly reduced capacity. As we have done throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we are prioritising the health and safety of the workers in our supply chain," said the Apple newsroom.

"We continue to see strong demand for [the] iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. However, 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," it added.

Covid-19 causes troubles

The assembling facility in the Zhengzhou plant – one of the world's most prominent – employs about 200,000 people, and it will not be able to work at 100 per cent capacity due to Covid-related restrictions at the site, causing supply chain issues for Apple's latest premium smartphones globally.

Market researcher Trendforce cut the iPhone shipment forecast for the October-December quarter by two million to three million units from 80 million, due to the Zhengzhou factory's inability to utilise its 100 per cent production capacity.

"We are working closely with our supplier to return to normal production levels while ensuring the health and safety of every worker," the Cupertino, California-based company said.

UAE customers will get orders on time

When contacted, both the telecom service providers in the UAE – e& by etisalat and du – confirmed that iPhone 14 customers would get their orders on time.

"We share the excitement of our customers in getting their iPhone 14 smartphones. Du is committed to fulfilling all orders on time and ensuring a seamless customer experience," a du spokesperson told Khaleej Times.

Apple is the only smartphone manufacturer which has delivered positive growth during the third quarter as worldwide smartphone shipments declined by 9.7 per cent to 301.9 million units, according to the preliminary data from the International Data Corporation's worldwide quarterly mobile phone tracker.

The Hong Kong-based market data company Counterpoint Research also ranked Apple with positive growth in the July-September quarter, with a 1.7 per cent increase in smartphone shipments to 48.8 million units, compared to 48 million units in the same quarter last year.


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