What you need to know
- Apple engineers are struggling to meet with suppliers in China.
- The lack of face-to-face collaboration is causing delays in production.
- Coronavirus and travel restrictions because of the outbreak are to blame.
Apple's production schedule for the iPhone 12 is further being called into question as travel restrictions to China increase. Reported by Reuters, the company has grounded engineers who would normally be traveling to China this time of year to meet with suppliers and manufacturers to finalize production. Only trips that are deemed "business-critical" would be approved.
One source, who asked not to be named, said that if Apple and Foxconn engineers are prevented from working together in person, it could cause further issues and delays.
Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, a former Apple engineer, explained that close collaboration is crucial in order to get things right and that trying to accomplish this level of manufacturing with remote teams will be extremely difficult.
An executive at a semiconductor firm, speaking generally about the current state of smartphone production, says that the lack of face-to-face work being done is going to cause huge time losses if it continues.
Experts say that Apple can still keep its usual timeframe of production and release at this point, but these complications prevent some unique challenges that the company and its partners will have to overcome to do so.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.