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Many shoppers can’t find Apple’s latest iPhones on Black Friday

Many shoppers looking for Apple’s latest high-end phones returned empty handed from its stores this Black Friday as the technology company struggles with production snafus in China.

November 26, 2022
By Hilary Russ and Siddharth Cavale
26 November 2022

By Hilary Russ and Siddharth Cavale

BETHESDA, Md./NEW YORK, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Many shoppers
looking for Apple’s latest high-end phones returned
empty handed from its stores this Black Friday as the technology
company struggles with production snafus in China.

Among them were Sally Gannon and her son Michael, who were
visiting an Apple store in Bethesda, where they found no iPhone
Pros in stock.

Similarly, Abisha Luitel wanted to get an iPhone 14 Pro for
her 21-year old cousin. But the Apple store she visited was out.
She purchased an older version, the 12, instead.

The “iPhone shortages are accelerating and were front and
center this morning on Black Friday across many retailers, Apple
Stores, and online channels,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in
a note.

“We believe many Apple Stores now have iPhone 14 Pro
shortages based on model or color or storage of up to 25%-30%
below normal heading into a typical December, which is not a
good sign heading into holiday season for Cupertino,” he said
referring to Apple’s headquarters.

Shares of Apple ended down 2.0% after its supplier Foxconn
flagged on Friday that iPhone production could be
further hit due to worker unrest at the plant.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment on Friday. In
a statement on Nov. 7, it said it expected lower iPhone 14 Pro
and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments than previously anticipated.

Foxconn’s plant in China makes Apple’s premium models
including the latest iPhone 14 Pro, a source told Reuters.

The plant, the world’s largest Apple iPhone factory has been
grappling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fueled
discontent among workers and disrupted production ahead of
Christmas and January’s Lunar New Year holiday.

At an Apple store in a Bethesda, Maryland mall, an employee
said there were almost no 14 Pro and Pro Max in stock. Another
employee at a store in Raleigh, North Carolina said that iPhone
14s were in low stock, while the iPhone 14 Plus was completely
out of stock.

Sally Gannon said that she and her son were now leaning
towards ordering the iPhone online. She said an Apple store
employee told them that a phone ordered online would be
delivered on Dec. 28.

U.S. electronics chain Best Buy warned earlier this
week of shortages of high-end iPhones at its stores this holiday
season.

Wedbush’s Ives expects roughly 8 million iPhones will be
sold on the Black Friday weekend, down from 10 million a year
ago, mainly due to supply challenges.

And if you want to shop online, he said wait times on
Apple’s website are now up to 40 days for the new iPhone 14 Pro,
which will only grow over the coming weeks as more consumers
try to find iPhone Pros to purchase as gifts.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ in Bethesday, Maryland, and Siddharth
Cavale in New York
Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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