Apple shares tumble as factory unrest in China raise concern 

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Apple Inc shares tumbled by 1.4 per cent on Monday (November 28) as concerns mounted over supply of iPhone-14 models in light of unrest at the world’s biggest iPhone factory in China. The production of the higher end models is already hit. Foxconn-operated iPhone plant in Zhengzhou has seen thousands of employees quitting over strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Chinese government is pursuing its strict ‘Zero-Covid policy’. However, implementation of super-strict lockdowns are now causing nationwide unrest.

Bloomberg News reported that there could be shortfall of 6 million iPhone Pro smartphones this year due to problems at the factory.

Wedbush Securities estimated that the production snafus could affect between 5% and 10% of iPhone units in the current quarter. KGI Securities analyst Christine Wang pegged the figure at around 10 million units, or 12%, assuming the issues last through December.

There was no immediate response from Apple.

“The ongoing challenges around delays in returning to a normal level of production at the Zhengzhou facility could limit the pace with which supply-demand equilibrium can be reached in the coming months,” J.P. Morgan analysts said.

US customers wait for about 33 days for their iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models to be delivered home, and the same models are not available for in-store pickup, the brokerage said.

Apple shares have fallen 3.4% in November, compared with a 2% gain in the Nasdaq Composite index.

(With inputs from agencies)

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