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The supply of Apple, Dell and Lenovo laptops is at risk of delays due to ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns in China.

Chinese ports, factories and offices are closed to stop the spread of COVID-19. Global supply chain disruptions are a natural consequence. Pegatron, one of Apple’s suppliers, announced that its factories in Shanghai and Kunshan have paused operations. Pegatron produces the iPhone 13, iPhone SE series and older models. Quanta Computer is down as well. This manufacturer is responsible for about three-quarters of all Macbooks worldwide. Apple’s delivery times are at stake.

The exact impact of the lockdowns is uncertain. Not all major Chinese cities are closed. Apple may divert production from Shanghai and Kunshan to factories in Shenzhen, one of the cities that has escaped the shutdown. “It’s possible to transfer orders among manufacturers, but we expect the volume may be limited due to the logistics issue and the difficulty of equipment adjustment”, Eddie Han, senior analyst at Isaiah Research, told Reuters.

Week three in Shanghai

The lockdown of Shanghai is approaching its third week. A full reopening is out of sight. On Wednesday 12 April, the United States called on all non-essential government employees to leave Shanghai. “If the lockdown lasts longer than two months, there is already no way to recover”, said Forrest Chen, research manager at Trendforce. “At that point, after the lockdown lifts, there would be a shortage (of devices, ed.) for end-users.” Huawei and Xpeng warned of economic consequences as well.

Laptop manufacturers may suffer, including Compal Electronics. The Taiwanese supplier produces models for Dell Technologies and Lenovo. Compal operates from a factory in Kunshan, one of the closed cities. The organization announced that production will continue, but the future remains uncertain.