The COVID-19 lockdowns in and around Shanghai severely affected MacBook Pro production, to the point that the 14-inch and 16-inch versions were 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, via MacRumors. One such site under consideration is the Chongqing factory, which is currently unaffected by the lockdown and would significantly reduce delivery times.
The decision to relocate production sites is important. In a recent earnings call, the tech giant said “supply constraints will disrupt its third-quarter 2022 revenue by up to $4 billion to $8 billion.” The Mac Observer notes that most of these logistical issues are due to major manufacturers in Shanghai only operating at 10-20% capacity due to labor shortages due to strict lockdowns affecting capacity. operation of factories.
Analysis: Will it be enough?
While relocating factories can help alleviate some of these production issues, it is not a panacea. Quanta cannot simply relocate all its workers from Shanghai to Chongqing for example. There is also the question of the risk of exposure, which could exclude even more workers.
Another significant issue is the current global chip shortage, also caused primarily by the pandemic. Even if labor shortages are resolved, the component supply issue means MacBook Pro supply is unlikely to be at normal levels.
It’s unclear how long this might take in terms of transition, since the labor issue and the component issue are two separate things. Even if one clears up, the other could continue to significantly delay shipments, making this fall’s release schedule even more up in the air than before.