6.7-Inch 'iPhone 14 Max' to Be In Short Supply Upon Launch
Earlier this year, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China. Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu clarified that the model in question was the "iPhone 14 Max," Apple's upcoming iPhone that is expected to bring a larger, 6.7-inch display size to its non-Pro line of smartphones.
While the iPhone 14 Max was not expected to enter mass production until late August, just weeks before the new iPhone lineup is unveiled at a September Apple event, the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max were believed to already be in mass production.
Despite lockdowns in China, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple did not change the shipping plan for the iPhone 14 models. He reiterated that the iPhone 14 Max is indeed behind schedule, but the situation is reportedly under control and suppliers are able to work overtime to catch up. Apple told Foxconn to start recruiting workers to assemble iPhone 14 models earlier than usual amid fears that China's lockdowns could lead to short supply or delays later in the year.
The iPhone 14 lineup is also facing a component shortage, but Kuo believes there will be a limited impact on mass production of the iPhone 14 models since other suppliers can help to make up for supply chain issues. For example, Kuo said Samsung Display and BOE can largely fill the initial supply gap caused by LG Display's issues with the appearance of iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max display panels.
DigiTimes reported that while Apple's semiconductor manufacturing supply chain "remains little affected" by lockdowns in China, other parts of Apple's supply chain may be severely impacted, which could lead to delays with some iPhone 14 models.
According to display panel shipment information recently shared by analyst Ross Young, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has the highest share of panel production, comprising 28 percent of shipments, in the period between June and September this year. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are close behind at 26 percent each, but the iPhone 14 Max trails behind at 19 percent. Production numbers are similar with the iPhone 14 Pro Max accounting for 29 percent of production and the 14 Max accounting for 21 percent of production.
This suggests that the iPhone 14 Max could be in much shorter supply than the other iPhone 14 models upon launch. Young said that iPhone 14 Max display panel shipments will "make up a lot of ground in September," which suggests that initial supply issues at launch should clear up relatively quickly. Recent reports indicate that the 6.7-inch iPhone may, in fact, be called the "iPhone 14 Plus" rather than the "iPhone 14 Max."
The iPhone 14 lineup is expected to be unveiled at an Apple event on September 7 with the tagline "Far out." While some analysts have a positive outlook on the impact of lockdowns and shortages on the availability of the iPhone 14 series, only time will tell if some models will be in short supply or face delays upon launch.