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Numerous rumours have suggested that production problems – caused in part by new lockdowns in China – could mean that the phone will have to be delayed. The same happened in 2020, when the launch of the new devices was pushed back by a month from its usual September date.
But Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst who has a long track record of leaks from within Apple’s supply chain, said that the process was facing problems but did not yet seem to have been delayed.
And he warned that the issue with this year’s phone is not likely to be problems with making enough – but that Apple will struggle to generate demand for those that it does make.
“My latest channel checks suggest that Apple has not changed the shipping plan for the iPhone 14 models since the Shanghai lockdown,” he wrote. “iPhone 14 Max is running behind, but it’s still under control currently, and suppliers can work overtime to catch up with the schedule.
“I believe iPhone 14’s challenges will come from the demand side instead of the supply side.”
The warning about potential problems with demand lines up with a Bloomberg report that claimed Apple will make as many of the iPhone 14 as it did the current iPhone 13. It has requested around 220 million of the new devices, the report claimed – roughly in line with the previous year.
Analysts had previously thought that Apple would need to make about 20 million more in the coming year, and the potential slashing could be another indication of a potential downturn in technology demand and across the economy more generally.
Apple is planning a range of updates for the iPhone 14, including removing the infamous notch and swapping it for a small pill-shaped cutout, improved cameras and better performance. The company is also rumoured to be ditching the “mini” size, and just bringing a normal and Max version of both the Pro and non-Pro models.
In contrast, the iPhone 13 brought relatively modest changes, including new camera updates and an improved chip.