Apple may ramp up iPhone production amidst coronavirus concerns

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Apple could increase iPhone manufacturing by 10% in first six months of the year.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly wants its suppliers to manufacture more than 80 million iPhones in the first half of 2020, a new report from Nikkei claims. If those figures are accurate, it would mean ramping up iPhone production by more than 10% compared to last year.

These units would mostly be Apple’s current-gen iPhone 11 series units. However, there would reportedly also be up to 15 million of the new iPhone SE 2 low-cost device Apple will supposedly introduce in March.

Apple will additionally increase AirPods manufacturing quantity. It will supposedly manufacture 45 million units of the ultra-popular devices in the first half of the year. Last year, Apple sold 60 million AirPods units, as per Strategy Analytics.

“This year is much busier than last year,” an industry source told Nikkei

Increased iPhone production orders is good news for Apple suppliers. But it also comes at a tough time due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Many cities in China have been locked down as a result of the virus. More than 4,500 cases have so far been confirmed. A total of 106 people have died in mainland China as a result of the virus.

Manufacturing on Apple’s iPhone SE 2 units will supposedly start in the third week of February. But the outbreak of coronavirus could affect with this schedule, claim two sources familiar with the situation.

Annual increases in iPhone production used to be commonplace. However, in recent years the smartphone market has slowed down. From a high of 231 million units sold in 2015, for the past few years iPhone sales have remained largely flat.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review