Travel restrictions to China because of the coronavirus have come just as Apple Inc’s engineers usually jet off to Asia to perfect the production of this fall’s new iPhones, former employees and supply chain experts stated.
Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker, delayed reopening key iPhone factories in Shenzhen and Zhengzhou after the Lunar New Year holiday but hopes to resume half of its Chinese production by the end of February, Reuters reported.
Last week, Apple warned investors it was unlikely to meet revenue targets for the first three months of 2020 and that global iPhone supplies would be limited as manufacturing sites in China were not ramping up production as quickly as expected.
According to Reuters, for new iPhone models, the transition from prototype to the assembly of millions of units starts in earnest when the Lunar New Year holiday in China ends in late January and early February, people familiar with the process said.
If delays occur at this stage it would eat into the time Apple needs to finalize orders for chips and other parts, almost all of which are custom-made for the iPhone.