Foxconn has reportedly delayed the return of iPhone workers to its plants

iPhone disassembled
iPhone disassembled (Image credit: iFixit)

What you need to know

  • Foxconn has reportedly told some employees to stay away.
  • These employees are part of the iDPBG business unit.
  • That unit is responsible for iPhone production.

Foxconn has reportedly told members of its iDPBG business unit not to return to work. The instruction came via the company's internal communications app with Bloomberg getting hold of the message.

The iDPBG business group is particularly notable because it is the one tasked with iPhone production. It isn't clear whether others have been told to report for duty, but with Reuters also reporting that 10% of the Zhengzhou factory workforce has returned to work it's possible that some didn't get the message.

Hon Hai, known also as Foxconn, sent a message via its internal app on Sunday that it wouldn't be able to decide on a back-to-work date "until further notice" for its iDPBG business unit, according to a version reviewed by Bloomberg News. That division makes gadgets for Apple at a factory in the so-called iPhone city of Zhengzhou in central China and two other plants in Shenzhen. It's not clear how many employees received the message and whether other workers were summoned back.

This latest news further confuses the situation with conflicting reports appearing almost hourly. Foxconn isn't saying exactly what is happening right now, simply noting that it will resume production in an "orderly manner".

Foxconn and other tech companies continue to deal with the ongoing coronavirus and all that it means for production. Factory closures have been in place for some time now, and quite when they will be back to 100% capacity is very much unknown. With Apple rumored to be announcing iPhone 9 next month, things are looking decidedly dicey right now.

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.