COVID-19 lockdowns in and around Shanghai have impacted production of the MacBook Pro so badly that the 14-inch and 16-inch versions have been delayed until August.
In response, Quanta Computer — the sole supplier of high-end MacBook Pro models — is considering moving production to another location, according to DigiTimes MacRumors. One such site under investigation is the Chongqing factory, which is currently unaffected by the lockdown and would significantly reduce lead times.
The decision to relocate production sites is an important one. During a recent conference call, the tech giant stated that “supply shortages would impact its revenue by as much as $4 billion to $8 billion for the third quarter of 2022.” The Mac Observer Notes that most of these logistical problems stem from the fact that major manufacturers in Shanghai are only operating at 10-20% capacity due to labor shortages due to the strict lockdowns affecting the operability of factories.
Analysis: Will it be enough?
While relocating factories could help alleviate some of these production problems, it’s not a panacea. Quanta, for example, cannot simply move all workers from Shanghai to Chongqing. There is also the issue of exposure risk, which could sideline even more workers.
Another major concern is the ongoing global chip shortage, also largely caused by the pandemic. Even if the manpower shortage is addressed, the component supply issue means that MacBook Pro supply will most likely not be at normal levels.
It’s not clear how long this might take in terms of a transition as the working issue and the component issue are two separate things. Even if one cleans up, the other could continue to significantly delay shipments, leaving this fall’s release schedule even more up in the air than before.
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