Apple supplier GoerTek and others using factory sleepovers to battle COVID

Pegatron (Image credit: Bloomberg)

What you need to know

  • Apple supplier GoerTek is one of many companies setting up camp for employees to avoid COVID-19 infections.
  • Factories are dealing with a fresh wave of COVID-19-related issues.

Apple supplier GoerTek is one of many companies dealing with a new deadly outbreak of COVID-19 by either having their employees sleep at factories, or by bussing them home to avoid any potential infection while making their own way.

With Vietnam suffering from a new wave of COVID-19, Nikkei reports that multiple companies are working on putting their teams into bubbles to try and avoid cross-contamination from other teams and the outside world.

Apple supplier GoerTek, South Korea's Kumho Tire, packaging giant Tetra Pak and Nestle are among those that have set up bubbles at their factories.

Other companies have had to take the decision to pause manufacturing altogether, something that will reportedly hit some companies' revenues by as much as 20% for July alone.

While bubbles were first used in the south of Vietnam, their use is now beginning to spread with more companies warning their teams that sleepovers might become a necessity if they are to keep production lines rolling. AirPods assembler GoerTek has already put together orange and purple tents designed to be temporary homes for workers, according to reports.

Ho Chi Minh City is currently in the middle of its strictest lockdown yet and more are reportedly on the way. Unfortunately, it looks increasingly likely that more sleepovers are going to become the norm in the coming weeks and months.

Ho Chi Minh City and industrial provinces abutting it -- including Binh Duong -- lead the latest daily COVID counts. Factories in those locations are required to set up production bubbles in order to stay open. That means providing either food and beds at work, or transportation to ensure workers go directly home.

Apple has battled supply chain problems for more than a year at this point and with the iPhone 13 launch now a matter of weeks away, it will be hoping that matters don't worsen globally.

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.