Nov. 22 (Reuters) – Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) high-end iPhones will be rare in stores this holiday season, Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) the chief executive said Tuesday, as the tech giant grapples with production issues at a virus-stricken factory in China.
Earlier this month, Apple warned of delays in shipments of its flagship product following a major production cut at Foxconn. (2317.TW) Zhengzhou plant due to China’s zero COVID-19 policy, hurting its sales outlook for the busy year-end shopping season. Read more
Supply issues are expected to have a greater impact on Apple’s high-end iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models, which start at nearly $1,000.
Best Buy CEO Corie Barry says the electronics retail giant is seeing a shortage of high-end iPhone inventory and has 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 on those high-end, iconic iPhone devices,” Barry said on a media call.
iPhones and other Apple products attract many customers to Best Buy stores and often trigger impulse purchases for other gadgets.
Wedbush analyst Dan Ives estimates that 8 million iPhone 14 units will be sold over the Black Friday weekend, down about 2 million from a year ago.
iPhone inventory is down about 25% from a year earlier at Apple stores, Ives said.
Still, Best Buy on Tuesday predicted a lower annual sales decline than it had previously estimated, saying it believes increased deals and discounts will attract more inflation-weary customers over the holiday season. Read more
Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bangalore; additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; Editing by Anil D’Silva
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