Report: Extended coronavirus factory closures would cause big iPhone impact

Tim Cook at Foxconn
Tim Cook at Foxconn (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple may see "big" impact to iPhone production if Foxconn is forced to keep its factory closed.
  • That's according to a Reuters report citing an unnamed source.
  • The factory is closed due to the recent coronavirus outbreak.

Apple could be set for "big" iPhone production delays if Foxconn is forced to keep its Chinese factory closed due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, according to Reuters.

The report cites "a person with direct knowledge of the matter" when it says that Apple's production of iPhones could be in dire straits if the current closure persists. While the same source told Reuters that Foxconn has so far seen a limited impact to production because it was able to utilize factories elsewhere, that will only be possible for a limited time.

The source told Reuters on Monday that Foxconn has so far seen a "fairly small impact" from the outbreak as it was utilizing factories in countries including Vietnam, India and Mexico to fill the gap, adding that the company will be able to make up for the delay if factories work overtime after the ban.

Foxconn's Chinese factory is set to remain closed until February 10, but if officials extend the closure order, things could quickly become dire according to the source.

"What we are worried about is delays for another week or even another month. The impact would be big," the source said. "It definitely will have an impact on the Apple production line.""The tricky question is whether we will be able to resume production (on Feb. 10)...It's up to the instructions given by central and provincial governments."

Apple took steps over the weekend to close all Apple Stores, offices, and contact centers in a move the company called "an abundance of caution".

All eyes remain on China to see whether factories will remain closed after the current February 10 window.

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.