Zhengzhou Foxconn has limited production capacity, Apple will discontinue the iPhone 14 Plus to make way for the dome master of the Pro series

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Text/Zhang Yongyi

Source / Power Plant (ID: wonder capsule)

On November 21, the power plant received news from Apple’s upstream screen supplier that was limited due to the recovery of Zhengzhou Foxconn’s production capacity and the willingness of consumers to buy, the production of iPhone 14 Plus has been suspended and the production capacity will have used for iPhone 14 Pro series.

The iPhone 14 series released this year can be said to be the most unfortunate generation of iPhones, and it is also the generation of iPhones with the strangest supply chain problems.

The iPhone 14 Plus has plenty of stock in online and offline stores, but no one cares about it; the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are still hard to find today, a month after they went on sale, and the current stock in the market has even increased the price of the trend of.

But this kind of “ice and fire” different models have problems in the river up and down the river at the same time, which is a difficult challenge for Apple. In Apple’s fourth quarter earnings call in October, Apple admitted that it is already reducing production capacity of the iPhone 14 Plus and using its original production capacity to increase the iPhone 14 Pro series.

Another change affecting the sales of the iPhone 14 Plus is that Apple has also raised the price of the iPhone globally this year, which has further reduced the competitiveness of the iPhone 14 Plus, which should have been a cost-effective flagship product, and even recorded a higher sales record than the iPhone 13 mini series. The lower result also allowed Apple to accelerate the pace of reducing the production capacity of the iPhone 14 Plus and switch to support the iPhone 14 Pro series.

However, the fate of the iPhone 14 Plus, which was originally “less production”, has recently taken a turn for the worse: In addition to Apple’s request in October to internally reassess market demand for the iPhone 14 Plus, this week DSCC CEO and analyst Ross Young even said that the iPhone 14 A is a sign that shipments of Plus series screen panels will approach zero in December.

Apple’s screen supply chain manufacturer revealed to the powerhouse that it has confirmed that its supply of screens with special specifications for the iPhone 14 Plus has significantly reduced production since the end of October. This is also consistent with the earlier intelligence report that Apple notified several suppliers in October that it would halt production of the iPhone 14 Plus and asked the “purchasing team to reassess demand for this product”, and it is also in line with outside estimates iPhone 14 Plus production capacity has been reduced to 20%.

But apart from the reasons above, the iPhone 14 Plus will not stop completely.

In addition to the supply chain capacity problems that have spread since last year, there was a more fatal blow in October – Foxconn’s production capacity in Zhengzhou was greatly reduced due to the epidemic. The actual impact of this incident on the production capacity of the iPhone 14 series is unknown to the outside world, but according to Bloomberg estimates, the entire incident may eventually cause a 30% drop in iPhone production.

Now, although Foxconn’s internal epidemic has been brought under control at this time, the governments of Zhengzhou and even Henan have started to help Foxconn to solve the short-term recruitment difficulties. Foxconn even offered a daily attendance subsidy of 400 yuan for employees, and the full attendance bonus in November more than 15,000 Yuan incentive policy.

But for Apple, the sudden disappearance of almost 30% of its production capacity in the short term is already an irreversible situation.

In other words, while the iPhone 14 Plus still has some production capacity today, it’s only one step away from actually ceasing production; what lies ahead of Apple is a multiple-choice question: iPhone 14 Plus or iPhone 14 Pro, which should be given up? ?

Why is the iPhone 14 Plus out?

In fact, the thinking behind the iPhone 14 Plus product is not difficult to understand. Basically, this is a product that Apple hopes to repeat its iPhone 8 Plus sales miracle.

In 2017, even in the wake of the release of the iPhone X, which marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, the iPhone 8 Plus still achieved unimaginable sales with its affordable price and reputation outstanding, reaching the iPhone X series that year. • triple the market share.

Today, the iPhone 8 Plus is still the iPhone that many users use every day. Thus, the iPhone 14 Plus restarted this series after five years, clearly targeting this segment of users and flagship Android phones that have eroded the iPhone’s market share in recent years.

However, the actual performance of the iPhone 14 Plus on the market proves that the market clearly does not accept the answer given by Apple: the iPhone 14 Plus uses the same bionic A15 SoC series from the iPhone 13 series , and its appearance and functions are almost the same as those of the previous generation. , In addition, this generation of iPhone 14 Pro series has made more innovations in terms of appearance / function, including smart island and screen display.

The comparison between the two sides makes the iPhone 14 Plus look like the iPhone 13 Plus, a product of the previous generation – this is a rather fatal problem for smartphones whose fashionable attributes have already taken over the main purchase factor.

In addition to the factors of the iPhone 14 Plus itself, the iPhone 14 Pro series is rare in the market, which is another reason for accelerating the decline of the iPhone 14 Plus.

Although China’s Double 11 has ended, for the global, especially the European and American markets, the annual shopping season, Christmas season and “Black Friday” have just begun.

For many European and American consumers, it has been a tradition for many years to buy iPhones for family and friends at this time. Therefore, including Apple’s official and various operator channels, they will give the most powerful promotions to the new iPhone in a year.

But the premise of all this depends on the sufficient stock supply of iPhone 14 Pro.

According to the current status of Apple’s official website in the United States, even if Black Friday hasn’t started yet (begins on November 25), if you place an order for the iPhone 14 Pro immediately, only on December 29th that you can receive it at the earliest – this time has passed Four days before Christmas this year, and if you buy the iPhone 14 Pro through other telecommunications operator channels, you may even have to waiting until next year for delivery.

This is an unacceptable condition for the majority of ordinary users who want to buy an iPhone as a Christmas present, and the blow to the willingness of the market to buy the iPhone 14 Pro can be imagined.

But this situation is not particularly sudden: Recently, Apple has also rarely published a press release on its official website to warn investors and users: Due to the local restrictions on the prevention and control of the new epidemic of the crown in Zhengzhou, the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max will be affected.” has had a significant impact” on production

The iPhone 14 Plus is cold in the market, and the serious production capacity problems faced by the iPhone 14 Pro in the supply chain are hindering growth. The ebb and flow, along with the extremely valuable production capacity, forced Apple to make a “choice of choice”: temporarily stop production of iPhone 14 Plus, and make every effort to ensure the normal supply of the iPhone 14 series Pro during Black Friday and the Christmas season.

But in fact, this decision is not a dilemma: after all, the iPhone 14 Pro, which directly increases the average profit margin of the iPhone and is currently seriously out of stock, more important than the iPhone 14 Plus, which has a weak omni The results are quite obvious; iPhone 14 is slowly dying in Apple’s step-by-step compromise and has been abandoned.

But even if the production of the iPhone 14 Plus is completely stopped now, it is not definitive for now, proving that the iPhone 14 Plus is a work doomed to failure.

According to Apple’s past practice, even if the production of a model is completely stopped at the moment, the previously purchased components will not be consumed in a short period of time. In addition to the current production capacity the iPhone 14 Plus, Apple needs to provide “urgent support” to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max “In addition, it is also possible to decide whether to restart the production line based on changes in future iPhone 14 Plus sales .

According to data released by DSCC earlier, screen purchases of the entire iPhone 14 series of Apple in 2022 will still be more than 10% in 2021. The side confirms the current coolness of the iPhone 14 Plus in the market, which further reducing the demand for inventory accessories. , and eventually evolved into the absolute limit of today’s production.

At the same time, even if the iPhone 14 Plus is ending at the moment, it does not mean that the iPhone 14 Plus production line is really closed forever: even the two generations of the iPhone 12 mini / 13 minis, considered “street sales” by the outside world, are still being produced. The actual sales volume of more than 10 million has been reached, and a single model has reached this sales base. Whether it is the supply of aftermarket parts or the demand for a complete machine replacement, the production line will continue to be maintained for many years.

According to Apple’s consistent product planning several years in advance, even if the iPhone 14 Plus reappears sluggish market feedback like the iPhone 12 mini, the release of the iPhone 15 Plus is now almost a certainty.

At the moment, Apple still has a variety of tools to improve the competitiveness of the iPhone 14 Plus market – the most direct and effective method is of course price reduction. At the beginning, the market was cold, but in the later period of the product release, the price dropped many times to make the product reestablished The popular iPhone XR has been accepted on the consumer side.

With the price reduction gradually revealing the cost-effective iPhone XR, there is also an evaluation of “the lower the price, the narrower the frame”.

But in any case, the unfortunate fate of this year’s iPhone 14 series will continue for now. As for the temporarily dead iPhone 14 Plus, the failure caused by its product placement is also doomed.

The iPhone 14 Plus that “plays big and plays really big” may actually be out of play.

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