Apple's biggest iPhone maker closes major plant for another lockdown

Apple’s biggest iPhone maker closes major plant for another lockdown

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Apple's relationship with Foxconn on the rocks
Foxconn doesn't expect a "major" impact to production.
Photo: Apple

Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturing partner, was this weekend forced to close one its biggest plants due to a citywide lockdown. Another COVID-19 outbreak has put all of Shenzhen, China, out of action until March 20 at the earliest.

The city, home to 17.5 million people, houses the Longhua Science & Technology Park — sometimes dubbed “Foxconn City” — which features 15 factories, worker dormitories, grocery stores, restaurants, and more.

Foxconn closes its doors in Shenzhen

China is currently facing its worst COVID-19 outbreak since the start of the pandemic, with new infections rocketing to 3,300 on Saturday. In an effort to prevent a wider spread, it has put a number of major cities in lockdown.

One of those is Shenzhen, home to Foxconn’s headquarters and some of its largest factories. All businesses have been ordered to close unless they provide food or other necessities, and residents should not leave their homes.

However, the shutdown, which currently remains in effect until Sunday, is unlikely to have an impact on iPhone supply — despite the fact that Foxconn manufactures around 70% of the world’s iPhone units.

iPhone should avoid Foxconn closure

Also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, Foxconn carries out most of its iPhone assemblies in Zhengzhou, which is yet to be hit by China’s latest COVID-19 measures. The company said it expects no “major” impact for now.

Bloomberg also notes that demand for iPhone isn’t as high this time of year — now that the busy holiday shopping season is over. However, Apple last week introduced new iPhone models, including an iPhone SE 3 with 5G.

Apple also unveiled its brand-new Mac Studio, a fifth-generation iPad Air, and iPhone 13 in alpine green. It’s not yet clear if shipments of these devices could be affected in the near future.