FactorySource: Apple

What you need to know

  • A report states that Foxconn is aiming to return to half its output by the end of February.
  • Its factories have remained either closed or heavily understaffed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • It's reported that shipments will be affected by the closures, but numbers are unclear at this stage.

A report suggests that following a period of extended closure, Foxconn is aiming to resume 50% production by the end of February.

According to Reuters:

Taiwan's Foxconn hopes to resume half of its production in China by month-end, a source told Reuters on Wednesday, as the supplier to tech giant Apple and others reopens plants shut over a coronavirus outbreak.

The world's largest contract electronics maker also aims to resume 80% of production in China in March, added the source, who has direct knowledge of the matter, citing internal targets set by Chairman Liu Young-Way.

Foxconn's reopenings after the Lunar New Year holiday were delayed by the rapid spread of the virus in China, which has killed more than 1,100 people, as the World Health Organization warned against a global threat potentially worse than terrorism.

Reports previously had suggested that Foxconn had been told not to reopen its factories by Chinese authorities and staff were told not to return to work due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak.

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According to the report, the source further added:

"Shipments will be affected, but it's too early to give an exact number. We might still have a chance to make it with overtime, but we also need to monitor consumer sentiment to come for the end products."

The reference was purported to be to electronics, including smartphones, and as such it now seems certain that there will be shipping delays to current-gen (and likely next-gen) smartphones from Apple as well as other manufacturers.

Apple is touted to announce a new low-cost iPhone in March of this year.

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