Foxconn, maker of Apple's iPhone, will begin producing surgical masks to combat coronavirus

Foxconn (Image credit: Bloomberg)

What you need to know

  • Foxconn says it will begin production of surgical masks.
  • The company normally builds Apple's iPhone.
  • There's currently a worldwide shortage of masks.

Foxconn is normally the company that builds Apple's iPhones, among other things, but now it's turning its attention to surgical masks amid a worldwide shortage.

Foxconn intends to be able to produce two million masks every day by the end of this month, according to a BBC report.

The firm took to social media to explain its move, saying that it believes that more masks will enable people to stay safe.

"In this war against the epidemic, every second counts," the firm said on the social media platform WeChat."The earlier we take precautionary actions, the earlier we can prevent the virus, the earlier we can save lives, the sooner we can overcome this."

Foxconn has already begun testing its production capabilities at its Shenzhen plant in southern China. The company also intends to begin using infrared temperature measurement devices to enable it to detect those among its workforce who may be infected with coronavirus.

This news comes after the company told employees not to return to work in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

To safeguard everyone's health and safety and comply with government virus prevention measures, we urge you not to return to Shenzhen... We'll update you on the situation in the city. The company will protect everyone's work-related rights and interests in the duration. As for the happy reunion date in Shenzhen, please wait for further notice.

The company will no doubt be hoping to be able to get back to producing iPhones sooner rather than later. As will Apple, no doubt.

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.