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iPhone 14 production rumors suggest it could be harder to get hold of than expected

iphone 14 pro render
(Image credit: Front Page Tech / Ian Zelbo)

Claims of Apple's iPhone 14 production targets suggest that it's preparing for a modest launch this year, even though there are a lot of big changes rumored for the iPhone 14 Pro models. 

Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reported that Apple's planned iPhone output for 2022 will remain the same as its 2021 goal of 220 million units, according to its sources in Apple's supply chain. The majority of these will be iPhone 14 units sold towards the end of the year, although this number will also include iPhone 13 and iPhone SE units too.

This is actually a bit smaller than the 240 million figure that the supply chain was expecting. Since the iPhone 14 is thought to feature some notable upgrades, the forecasts had assumed there would be an uptick in production to account for higher than average demand. However, as the report continues, tricky conditions due to coronavirus lockdowns, high inflation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have meant smartphone sales have been weak.

Apple has particularly been struggling with supply chain issues due to lockdowns in the Chinese cities where its manufacturing partners are based. This has notably affected the production of MacBooks, which are currently taking two to three months to ship.

We recently heard that one of the four expected iPhone 14 models could be as much as three weeks behind schedule due to Chinese lockdowns. Sources within the supply chain still seemed confident Apple could overcome the delay. But perhaps we should also expect a situation like we saw with the iPhone 12 series, where the base model and iPhone 12 Pro shipped first, with the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max getting held back.

The iPhone 14 series is thought to be coming in regular, Pro, Pro Max and a new iPhone 14 Max size to replace the low-selling iPhone 13 mini. Although the iPhone 14 and 14 Max are thought to be quite similar to the iPhone 13, including the notched display and the same chipset, the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max are rumored for bigger changes, including new dual punch-hole camera notches and a 48MP main camera.

Although we have had some excellent iPhone 14 Pro renders to give us an idea of how the phone will look, we'll most likely only see it mid-September as normal. The most specific rumor we have so far is September 13, so mark your calendars.

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.