Nov 22 (Reuters) – Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) high-end iPhones will be in short supply at stores this holiday season, Best Buy Co Inc’s (BBY.N) chief executive said on Tuesday, as the tech giant grapples with production issues at a virus-blighted plant in China.
Earlier this month, Apple warned of delays in shipments of its flagship product following a significant production cut at Foxconn’s (2317.TW) Zhengzhou plant due to China’s zero-COVID-19 policy, dampening its sales outlook for the busy year-end shopping season. read more
The supply issues are expected to most significantly impact Apple’s premium iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models, which start at nearly $1,000.
Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said the electronics retail giant was seeing a shortage in stocks of the premium iPhones and had factored the expected loss in sales into its holiday quarter forecast.
“One of the places where we’re seeing a bit of (inventory) pressure is in those higher-end iconic iPhone devices,” Barry said on a media call.
Apple’s iPhones and other products draw a lot of customers to Best Buy stores and often trigger impulse buying of other gadgets as well.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives estimates 8 million iPhone 14 units will be sold over the Black Friday weekend, about 2 million fewer than a year ago.
Inventory of iPhones are down about 25% from a year earlier at Apple’s own stores, Ives said.
Still, Best Buy on Tuesday forecast a smaller drop in annual sales than it had previously estimated, saying it was confident that a ramp up in deals and discounts will bring in more inflation-weary customers during the holiday season. read more
Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; Editing by Anil D’Silva
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