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Analyst Kuo outlines the issues facing iPhone production during coronavirus outbreak

Foxconn
Foxconn (Image credit: Bloomberg)

What you need to know

  • Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shared details about the impact of coronavirus.
  • Kuo didn't make any shipment predictions.
  • But he did call out "many uncertainties" about 2020 iPhone sales.

Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a new investor note out and he's outlined the issues facing iPhone production during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

In the note picked up by 9to5Mac, Kuo explains which of Apple's manufacturing partners are impacted as well as which iPhones their plants would normally be responsible for producing.

An example of that would be Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory which would normally be tasked with producing iPhone 11 and iPhone 9. The latter has been roundly rumored to have a March launch window, but with the plant currently closed and not expected to re-open early this week, that could now be in doubt.

It's a similar story at the Shenzhen Foxconn plant. That's the factory that would normally be getting ready to begin producing the 2020 iPhones, While the development team didn't stop work over the Chinese New Year, the rest of the plant wasn't scheduled to return until today. That's now been postponed for at least one more week.

Pegatron's Shanghai plant makes iPhone 11 handsets and will also produce the 2020 iPhones. It reportedly resumed work last week. However, the company's Kushan factory was due to restart work today. That is no longer happening, according to Kuo.

While the analyst isn't making any iPhone shipment predictions in his latest research note, he did say that "there are still many uncertainties" surrounding just how many iPhones will be produced this year. There's a very real chance that the number of iPhones being produced during 2020 will be lower than initially expected, all thanks to the coronavirus outbreak that continues to wreak havoc.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.