Travel constraints to China due to the coronavirus have come as Apple’s engineers usually take a flight to Asia to perfect the production of this fall’s new iPhones, former employees and supply network experts said.
High-volume production is not scheduled until summer; however, the first months of the year are when Apple speeds up assembly processes with companions such as Hon Hai’s Foxconn, two former Apple employees stated.
While Apple makes use of other contract manufacturers like Wistron to manufacture some iPhones, Taiwan’s Foxconn tends to oversee the introduction of new models because its capabilities are the most superior, supply network specialists mentioned.
Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, postponed reopening crucial iPhone plants in Shenzhen and Zhengzhou after the Lunar New Year break; however, it hopes to resume half of its Chinese production by the end of February.
Senior Foxconn delegates who’ve been working remotely from Taipei since the holiday haven’t yet returned to China on a large scale, an individual with knowledge of the matter said.
Apple refused to comment. Foxconn mentioned in an emailed statement Tuesday that the group is following all legally required health and safety practices at its factories to protect worker welfare.
Last week, Apple notified investors it was unlikely to meet revenue goals for the first quarter of this year and that global iPhone supplies would be limited as manufacturing facilities in China were not boosting production as quickly as expected.