A huge fire at an iPhone charging cable factory in India has caused damage that could see the factory remain out of action for as long as two months.
While it isn't immediately clear what caused the fire, it's thought that roughly 50% of the machinery has been damaged, while the building that housed it has also reportedly partially collapsed.
The fire took place at a Foxlink factory in New Delhi, with production halted as a result. It remains to be seen whether the fire will have a knock-on effect on Lightning cable availability in the short term. Lightning cables are shipped in the box of every iPhone 14 sold.
Reuters reports that the fire thankfully didn't result in any casualties, but it's thought that it will be a financially costly one. "Management has conveyed to us that they estimate a loss of roughly 1 billion rupees ($12 million) from the incident," the local fire department told the news outlet.
Photos from the site showed a scene of utter destruction.
Some pictures from the site, courtesy the local fire department pic.twitter.com/TdgiIGZR7oFebruary 27, 2023
It's also reported that the Foxlink factory "had faulty safety equipment" which hindered firefighting. While fire extinguishers were available, that's all that actually worked — smoke detectors, sprinklers, and fire hydrants were "non-functional," according to fire officials.
Faulty safety equipment led to slower response in containing fire at Apple supplier Foxlink's India facility, a top fire safety official tells Reuters.Smoke detectors, sprinklers & fire hydrants were non-functional. Only fire extinguishers were working.Now on @Reuters wire: pic.twitter.com/4m7toTLf2DFebruary 28, 2023
Neither Apple nor Foxlink have made any comment about the fire, what caused it, or what impact it might have on the availability of cables.
If the fire does impact Apple's ability to sell Lightning cables via its online and physical retail presence, there are plenty of other options available. USB-C to Lightning cables are available from multiple different brands and come in different lengths and colors.
By comparison, Apple's cables come in two lengths and are available in any color you want — so long as that happens to be white.
However, Apple is expected to switch to USB-C when the iPhone 15 lineup ships later this year, meaning all of the cables you currently own will no longer charge your brand-new iPhone.
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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.