Apple’s Shenzhen manufacturing facility, along with more than a hundred others, has been placed under a seven-day “closed loop” shutdown by Chinese authorities in an effort to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections, according to Bloomberg.
The “closed loop” method will imply that only staff who reside on-site will be able to work, restricting access from the outside and generally prohibiting anyone from leaving the plant. This will limit the number of people who are able to work at the facility.
According to a Foxconn spokeswoman, despite the current lockdown, facility operations are “regular.” The “iPhone city” in Zhengzhou, China, is the second-largest factory for Foxconn in Shenzhen. The new lockdown, on the other hand, increases the strain on a supply chain that is already under pressure.
The timing of the lockout is also a concern because Foxconn is slated to begin mass production of the forthcoming iPhone 14 series in several weeks, ahead of its September launch. Apple was forced to delay the release of the iPhone 12 by a month in 2020 due to supply chain issues, resulting in widespread lockdowns and anxiety.
It seems unlikely that this year’s lockdowns will result in a similar sequence of events, although it is possible that customers could have limited availability at launch.