Buyers of Apple's new iPhone 13 face longer-than-expected delivery times because of a wave of COVID-19 infections in Vietnam, where components for the device's new camera module are assembled, Nikkei Asia said.
The disruption, which could ease as soon as mid-October, is linked to a constriction in supplies of modules for the phone's four models, as a significant number of components are assembled in Vietnam, it said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The latest iPhone 13 models have an advanced camera that allows more light in to capture sharp images in low-lit areas and also offers a transition focus from foreground to background in the same frame.
New Zealanders looking to buy a phone from the company's website face a two - three week delay in shipping for the standard iPhone 13, with the Pro models taking four to five weeks.
Some retailers in New Zealand have available phones, but options appear limited due to high demand and limited stock.
Several users and Apple's partners have highlighted delays after pre-ordering began in September due to a shortage of supply and high demand, with analysts warning of one of the longest waiting times for the phone in recent years.
Apple relies on more than a dozen factories that manufacture components in Vietnam, which has been grappling with a rise in infections since April, mostly in its business hub Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring industrial provinces.
Digitimes is reporting that Taiwan-based makers of some of Apple's camera components are giving priority to the Cupertino-based company over other smartphone manufacturers.
The website cites industry sources saying pre-sales of the iPhone 13 series in China and Taiwan, as well as the higher profitability from Apple's orders is one reason.
"Samsung's sales of new smartphones in third-quarter 2021 fell short of original expectation, and Chinese smartphone vendors including Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi have relatively high inventory levels for components," the website also reported.
Meanwhile, Apple suppliers in China have suspended production at some factories for a number of days to comply with tighter energy consumption policies.
Reuters / Newshub