Apple Has Relied More on China-Based Engineers During Pandemic

Apple engineers in China have taken on greater responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, as travel restrictions and lockdowns have prevented Apple from sending as many U.S. engineers to the country as it normally would, according to The Wall Street Journal.

apple china iphone factory
While key matters like product design are still handled at Apple's headquarters in California, the report claims that Apple has gradually given its China-based engineers more authority to resolve problems, with less input from U.S. employees.

For instance, instead of sending product- and assembly-related information from China to Cupertino for a decision, engineers in China would also include their analysis. And China-based engineers who in the past generally would have reported problems to Cupertino would instead send proposals for resolving the problem, the people said.

The report adds that Apple has used video calling to remotely communicate with Chinese employees to resolve factory issues and more, in an effort to keep pace with its annual product cycles, including new iPhone models each year.

China has imposed strict restrictions and/or lockdowns in cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Zhengzhou in recent weeks. Last month, Apple warned that its June quarter revenue would be impacted by a number of factors, including supply constraints caused by COVID-related disruptions and industrywide silicon shortages. Apple said it expected those constraints to result in a $4 billion to $8 billion impact on revenue for the quarter.

The disruptions have resulted in lengthy shipping estimates for several Apple products, such as the MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and more.

Note: Due to the political or social nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Political News forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

ouimetnick Avatar
3 weeks ago
So basically cosmetically designed by Apple in California, engineered and assembled in China?
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fenderbass146 Avatar
3 weeks ago
How about they gtfo of China. Apple is all about virtue signaling when it comes to some issues, but when it comes to the genocide and issues in China they won't do **** because it hurts there bottom line. Same for most of corporate America. Get it out of China to other places and slowly start bringing some back to the West even if it costs some margin or higher prices.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nicole1980 Avatar
3 weeks ago
Still shaking my head. Using a lockdown to try to prevent a virus from spreading. Good luck with that. And even if they succeed in keeping people from getting the current virus, guess what - they'll be the biggest population in the world subject to the most severe symptoms once another variant rolls along.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
3 weeks ago

Still shaking my head. Using a lockdown to try to prevent a virus from spreading. Good luck with that. And even if they succeed in keeping people from getting the current virus, guess what - they'll be the biggest population in the world subject to the most severe symptoms once another variant rolls along.
Let me guess. You didn’t go to med school.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
3 weeks ago
I wonder how Apple is protecting their trade secrets.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
VaruLV Avatar
3 weeks ago
So, basically, as mentioned before, designed by Apple in USA, engineered by your friendly commie China.
And all just to have some more extra dollars of profit.
I guess soon there might be no difference between Xiaomi, who copies iPhone and Apple, since both might be handled by the same teams of engineers. Then Apple will tell us that its still top quality and made by best engineers for best user experience and quality, year, right, heard that before by many other companies...
Yeah, I know, Im exaggerating, but still, this is far from normal being so overly reliant on China in all aspects, including cashing in on unknowing customers who still pay top $$$ just to get "American" stuff which might turn into something other companies have been doing for years where brand X makes desing and lets its OEM manufacturer do the rest, including technical engineering and testing.
All this in the light of rumors about possible iPhone Pro 14 prices rising yet another 100$ is just, well, unpleasant news.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...