Contrasting reports have emerged suggesting Apple supplier, Foxconn, has been unable to fully resume production in a key Chinese factory, leading to speculation about possible delays to future iPhones.
According to one Reuters source, the company has finally been given clearance from Chinese officials to resume production at its Zhengzhou plant. However, only ten percent of the workforce have actually been able to return to the factory so far.
Later this morning, another Reuters source suggested that Foxconn had not actually been given permission to forge ahead with production.
It’s unclear at present which story is true, but the latest updates seem to suggest that ten percent of workers did indeed return to the plant today, despite officials not sanctioning a return to production. We believe negotiations are on-going.
If production cessation does have to continue much further, we can expect to see a number of high-profile products delayed, including the iPhone SE 2. Or, alternatively, their prices or available quantities may be affected.
Coronavirus fears are dominant in the region at present. So much so that one internal meeting memo from Foxconn reminded employees: “Violation of epidemic prevention and control could potentially face the death penalty” – as reported by Nikkei Asian Review.
One issue that seems to be standing in the way of the Foxconn factory’s production schedule is its sophisticated air conditioning. Keeping dust out of iPhones and similar products, while they are being assembled, requires a high-tech air conditioning system which could mean that coronavirus would spread particularly quickly around the factory, were workers to return.
The news comes amid a series of other impacts that the coronavirus outbreak is having on the tech industry. Apple have also been forced to close stores, while LG, Sony, Ericsson and Amazon have all pulled out of MWC 2020 in Barcelona.
Currently tech firms seem to be attempting to measure exactly how bad the effect of coronavirus will be on their companies and their work-forces. Trusted Reviews has contacted several analysts who are waiting for further details to be provided by China-based colleagues.
While the effects on industry are very much secondary, when compared to the widespread physical effects of the coronavirus, many tech companies could suffer. You’ll be updated as soon as we have more information.