Foxconn moving additional iPhone production to India as coronavirus disrupts work

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Foxconn moving additional iPhone production to India as coronavirus disrupts work
India is getting extra iPhone production due to the spread of coronavirus.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is moving some more of its iPhone production to India, as China continues to grapple with the spread of coronavirus.

Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has some details as to how coronavirus is impacting on Apple factories in China.

Headed to India: iPhone production issues

In a note to clients, seen by Cult of Mac, Kuo writes that Apple supplier Foxconn’s Zhengzhou factory China is the “most critical iPhone production site.” This plant makes the top iPhone handsets, such as the iPhone 11 series and the upcoming iPhone SE 2.

Foxconn planned to reopen the site on February 2, Kuo says. However, it was pushed back “at least” one week. Even when it does resume iPhone production, Kuo thinks that coronavirus-induced labor return rates will be in the vicinity of 40-60%.

Apple’s new 2020 iPhone models (seemingly minus the iPhone SE 2) are meanwhile being “developed” at Foxconn’s Shenzhen site. Kuo reveals that the site continued working through Chinese New Year. However, it has also been hit by delays. Kuo estimates that the labor return rate will be approximately 30-50%.

Kuo says that Foxconn has moved some of its iPhone production to India, along with a factory in Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi province in Northern China. Unfortunately, the iPhone production capacities at these sites in India and Taiyuan are “limited.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said last week that Apple is working on finding “alternate sources” for components. However, he did not specifically address alternatives for product manufacturing. Apple suppliers have already been producing a limited number of iPhones in India.

Pegatron having its own issues

For its part, Apple supplier Pegatron is having its own issues. Its Shanghai factory reopened on February 3 with a labor return rate of 90%. But Kuo thinks that these numbers will fall are around 60-70%. That’s because many employees are planning to resign after they get paid.

Finally, Pegatron’s Kunshan site is carrying out iPhone SE 2 manufacturing. Originally, this plants was supposed to reopen February 10. However, it has been pushed back “at least several days.” Kuo thinks return rate will be in the vicinity of 40-60%.