Apple’s Chinese supply and assembly partners plan to resume full-scale production by February 10. Production was halted in the country due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Bloomberg reports Apple’s main assembly partner, Hon Hai (Foxconn), said on Tuesday it still expects to be able to restart facilities throughout China on schedule. The company confirmed that date via a text message sent to Bloomberg News. Other suppliers – including Quanta Computer Inc., Inventec Corp., and LG Display Co. – also said their factories would resume production next week in China.
The majority of Apple’s iPhone handsets are produced in China, at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant and at Pegatron’s assembly site near Shanghai, which is over 500 kilometers away from Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the viral outbreak.
Foxconn last week claimed the coronavirus outbreak has had a “fairly small impact” on iPhone production. The company’s other factories, which are located in Mexico, India, Vietnam, and other countries have so far been able to pick up the slack.
However, a Reuters report from Monday says the company could face a “big” impact on its production numbers if the Chinese government keeps factories in the country closed for an additional week or longer.
The timing of the coronavirus outbreak could adversely affect the supply of the lower-cost iPhone that Apple is expected to unveil in March. Earlier reports have indicated that the production of the device was expected to kick off this month. However, the coronavirus outbreak could impact that timeframe.
Apple could still release the lower-cost iPhone in March, even if supplies turn out to be limited. Foxconn’s factories outside of China could help with the production of the new device, as could Apple’s other assembly partners.
The World Health Organization has declared the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency. For more information about the virus, visit the WHO website.