What happened

Shares of Apple (AAPL -1.10%) were falling today on yet another data point showing weak iPhone sales heading into the new year.

As a result, the stock was down 2.3% as of 2:19 p.m. EST.

So what

Market research firm Trendforce cut its forecast for iPhone shipments in 2022 after a COVID-19 outbreak in Zhengzhou, China where Foxconn manufactures iPhones.

Due to the capacity crunch at the Zhengzhou plant, Trendforce now expects total iPhone 14 shipments of 78.1 million down from an earlier forecast. It also said the labor shortage in China would lead shipments for the fiscal first quarter to decline 22% to 47 million.

Separately, JD.com also launched its Chinese New Year sales with discounts on iPhones of $129 for the iPhone 14 and $143 for the iPhone 14 Plus. That move potentially indicates that the phones are selling more slowly than JD.com, which is China's biggest direct retailer, had expected.

Now what

Apple stock has fallen in recent weeks on concerns about iPhone production and as investors have priced in higher interest rates next year. However, there's a silver lining in the news about production delays.

Demand has been strong for the new iPhones and for the higher-priced Pros, meaning that sales should rebound when production improves. 

Over the longer term, the impact from the manufacturing delays should be negligible, but the potential for a recession next year adds another headwind for the stock.

Still, with the stock now down 28% year to date and trading at a 52-week low, those concerns seem to be sufficiently priced in.