Since March this year, major cities in China have been under strict lockdown due to a rise in COVID-19 cases. The health measures have severely disrupted production capacity at factories located in the manufacturing hubs of the country: Shenzhen, Shanghai, Kunshan, and Zhengzhou including Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and MacBook suppliers.
A new report by DigiTimes claims that Quanta Computer, Apple’s MacBook Pro supplier is considering the option to relocate the production of MacBook Pro to its plant in Chongqing because its Shanghai plant is operating at low capacity.
MacBook Pro delivery time might improve if the supplier moves production
Apple introduced 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in October 2021. The notebooks launched with 2-3 weeks extended delivery time because of supply constraints caused by a supply and demand imbalance. And the new COVID-19 wave in China has exacerbated the situation.
Previously, DigiTimes reported that MacBook Pro assembling units in Shanghai were running at 10% – 20% capacity under a strict closed-loop management system in which workers live and work at the factory. Therefore, production and transportation issues resulted in the increase of the notebooks’ delivery time by 3 to 5 weeks, by late June or early July.
According to the new report, Apple supplier’s solution to mitigate the impact of lockdowns on production capacity in Shanghai, China is to move the production of the MacBook Pro to a unit in another city, Chongqing. The decision is likely to improve the delivery time of 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) models.
Having said that, the report also mentions that staff and logistical issues could impact the progress.
The move could gradually boost the availability of MacBook Pro models and shorten the extended delivery times that Apple customers have been experiencing in recent weeks, but staffing and logistical issues could hinder progress.