Reuters reports that although Apple’s main iPhone manufacturing partner Foxconn has seen a “fairly small impact” from the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, it 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 report says Foxconn has put a halt to “almost all” of its production in China through February 9, as ordered by the Chinese government. However, its factories in Vietnam, Mexico, India, and other countries have been able to pick up the slack for now.
The timing of the coronavirus outbreak could be bad when it comes to 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.