Apple’s main iPhone assembly partner, Foxconn, expects its plants in China to resume normal operation by the end of this month. The company says it has resolved labor shortages blamed on the coronavirus outbreak.
Bloomberg reports that Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai, said Tuesday its factories are now operating at about 50% of seasonal capacity. However, those numbers should continue to ramp up over the course of the month as workers return to their plants.
While the first quarter of March is typically quiet for iPhone assembly following the holiday rush, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in China could delay mass production for Apple’s much-anticipated lower-cost iPhone, says one report.
“As of today, the production resumption has reached 50% of seasonal required capacity. Based on the current schedule, we shall be able to reach full seasonal capacity by the end of March,” [Foxconn] said in a stock exchange filing. “There are still plenty of uncertainties which we cannot quantify around the potential impact on the full year.”
Apple had reportedly been planning to begin mass production on the new iPhone in February, but Nikkei reported last month that its sources told them that target was “very challenging,” and that production could be delayed until March.
Most reports have expected Apple to debut the new lower-cost iPhone at a late March event, (likely March 31), with a release planned for April 3. While there are issues with production, multiple sources still believe the “iPhone SE 2” will still launch on time.