Apple is giving China-based engineers more responsibility for managing its hardware manufacturing processes, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. Before the pandemic, Apple frequently sent US-based engineers to the country to help oversee development, but the report says the company is now relying more on China-based engineers due to increased restrictions. borders due to COVID-19.
However, US-based Apple engineers are still involved in overseas development efforts remotely, according to The Wall Street Journalreport:
The iPhone maker has also adopted some technology, including live streaming, that helps staff at its Cupertino, California, headquarters remotely follow what’s happening at production plants in China, the people said. Apple has used iPads to communicate and augmented reality tools to help technical experts in Cupertino check for factory issues, one of the people said.
And “key decisions” and product design still take place primarily at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Apple is famous for its mastery of the supply chain, and many of the factories it relies on for manufacturing are in China. But global chip shortages and COVID-19-related disruptions, including lockdowns in China, have brought some major problems to the company’s operations, so much so that CEO Tim Cook said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call which expects a revenue hit “in the range of $4 billion to $8 billion” in the current quarter.
Rumors suggest that the company is working on many new products for this year, including the iPhone 14 lineupa redesigned MacBook Air (although reports differ on whether it will have an M1 either m2 processor), Y the second generation AirPods Pro. It’s unclear whether development of these products has slowed despite Apple’s tweaks. And, if the outages continue, there’s always the chance that Apple will release some of them later than expected.