The blockade of COVID-19 in and around Shanghai greatly affected MacBook Pro production to such an extent that 14- and 16-inch versions were delayed until August.
In response, Quanta Computer – the only supplier of high-end MacBook Pro models – is considering relocating production, according to DigiTimes, via MacRumors. One such place to be explored is the Chongqing plant, which is currently not affected by the closure and will significantly reduce lead times.
An important decision on the relocation of production sites. During a recent earnings call, the tech giant said that “supply restrictions would disrupt its revenue for the third quarter of 2022 by as much as $ 4-8 billion.” Mac Observer notes that most of these logistics problems are due to the fact that large manufacturers in Shanghai operate at only 10-20% of capacity due to labor shortages due to strict blocking, which affects the performance of factories.
Analysis: is it enough?
While relocating plants may help alleviate some of these production problems, it is not a cure-all. For example, Quanta cannot simply transfer all its workers from Shanghai to Chongqing. There is also the issue of exposure risk, which could turn off even more workers.
Another important problem is the constant shortage of chips in the world, also caused mainly by the pandemic. Even if the shortage of manpower is eliminated, the problem of component supply means that the supply of MacBook Pro will most likely not be at a normal level.
It is unclear how long this may take in terms of transition, as the question of labor and the question of components are two separate things. Even if one clears up, the other could continue to significantly delay deliveries, making the release schedule this fall even higher than before.