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  • High-end iPhones will be in short supply at stores this holiday season, Best Buy Co Inc BBY said following a warning from Apple Inc AAPL this month that China’s zero-COVID policy was squeezing production at a key factory.
  • The supply issues were likely to significantly hurt the premium iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models, which start at nearly $1,000, Reuters reports.
  • “One of the places where we’re seeing a bit of (inventory) pressure is in those higher-end iconic iPhone devices,” Best Buy boss Corie Barry said on a media call.
  • Also Read: China Resorts To Retired Soldiers To Drive iPhone Production At Biggest Foxconn Facility
  • Analysts have flagged that inventory of iPhones at Apple stores around the Black Friday shopping season was down from a year earlier, and it was taking longer to replenish stocks.
  • IPhones draw customers to Best Buy stores, especially during the holiday season, and often trigger impulse buying. Apple fans waiting for the latest devices could push sales into the next quarter.
  • A store supervisor, Michael Phillips, said it takes at least two weeks for models to reach after placing orders.
  • “We lose a lot of customers because of that,” Phillips said. For people who want the Pro Max, “you’re not going to settle for something that doesn’t have the specs you want.”
  • Best Buy’s Barry said the company had factored the expected loss in sales due to the shortage of the premium iPhones into its holiday quarter forecast.
  • Still, Best Buy forecasted a smaller drop in annual sales than it had previously estimated.
  • Wedbush analyst Dan Ives estimates 8 million iPhone 14 units will be sold over the Black Friday weekend, about 2 million fewer than iPhone 13s a year ago, as many Apple stores have 25% fewer iPhones in their inventories than a year earlier.

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