USA: This Black Friday, many customers looking for Apple's latest high-end phone left its stores empty-handed as the tech company grapples with production issues in China.
Sally Gannon and her son Michael were among those looking for an iPhone Pro at an Apple Store in Bethesda. Similarly, Abisha Luitel wanted to buy the iPhone 14 Pro for her cousin, who is 21 years old. However, the Apple Store she went to was closed. He decided to buy 12, which was the earlier model.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note that "iPhone shortages are accelerating and were front and center at many retailers, Apple Stores and online channels this morning on Black Friday."
We estimate that many Apple Stores currently have a shortage of iPhone 14 Pro depending on model, color or storage, which is 25-30% lower than the average in December. Not a good sign for Cupertino going into the holiday season, he said, referring to Apple's headquarters.
Apple shares fell 2% after a source at Apple supplier Foxconn told Reuters on Friday that worker unrest at the plant could further affect iPhone production.
A request for comment from Apple was not responded to on Friday. It said in a statement on November 7 that fewer shipments of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max were expected than previously estimated.
Apple's premium models, including the most recent iPhone 14 Pro, are made in China by Foxconn.
The plant, which houses the world's largest Apple iPhone factory, has been grappling with strict Covid-19 rules that have caused worker unrest and production disruptions for the Christmas and Lunar New Year holiday in January.
An Apple Store employee at a mall in Bethesda, Maryland claimed that the 14 Pro and Pro Max are almost completely out of stock. Another employee at a store in Raleigh, North Carolina claimed that while a limited number of iPhone 14s were available, the iPhone 14 Plus was completely sold out.
According to Sally Gannon, she and her son were considering ordering an iPhone online. He claimed that an Apple Store employee informed him that the phone he ordered online would arrive on December 28.
This week, US electronics retailer Best Buy issued a warning about possible shortages of the expensive iPhone during the holiday shopping season.
In contrast to the 10 million iPhones sold on Black Friday weekend last year, Wedbush's Ives forecasts 8 million iPhones to be sold this year, mainly due to supply issues.
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And if you prefer to shop online, he claimed that the new iPhone 14 Pro has a wait time of up to 40 days on Apple's website. He predicted that these wait times will continue to increase in the coming weeks as more people look to buy iPhone Pros as gifts.