The demand for some generations of iPhones triggered lines with people who sat outside for days. Some used sleeping bags. The people at the end of these lines were often disappointed. All of the new Apple iPhones were gone. Customers would need to wait a few days or weeks. Apple had made too few iPhones to satisfy demand. This may happen again and may happen again soon. The iPhone 14 could start to disappear from shelves.
The supply cycle issue for the iPhone 14 is unlike any other. Its cause is COVID-19. The disease has shut down the Foxconn factory that makes most of the world’s iPhones. Workers have protested they cannot do their jobs, affecting their pay. Some workers have not been paid because they have not received enough training.
The drop in iPhone’s made at the Foxconn facility has already affected supply. According to Reuters, “Wedbush Securities estimates many Apple stores now have 25% to 30% fewer iPhone 14 Pros than normal heading into the holiday shopping season.” The factory in question may not be fully open soon. The supply problem could worsen and stretch into 2023.
Although iPhones represent the largest market share of smartphone sales in the U.S., several other products are successful, and potential iPhone customers may turn to them. Google has spent large sums marketing its Pixel. Google has the leverage of its brand and a huge marketing budget. The Pixel also gets strong customer reviews. Samsung sells as many smartphones as Apple does worldwide. It also has a strong presence in the U.S.
Apple has an additional hurdle due to the shortage. Many iPhones are sold by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile outlets. They can steer customers to alternatives because they do not want to see their smartphone sales fall. Once Apple surrenders its market share to the competition, it may not win them back easily.
If you plan to buy an iPhone for the holidays, consider alternatives.
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