Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple’s planned production of the so-called “iPhone SE 2” or “iPhone 9” due to the coronavirus outbreak could be disrupted. Most of Apple’s iPhones are made in China, with major manufacturers including Foxconn in Zhengzhou and And asa-based assembly plants near Shanghai.
Both sites are more than 500 kilometers from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, but Gurman believes the distance “doesnot protect them from it” and has been echoed by other analysts.
“I can’t imagine the supply chain going to be uninterrupted,” said Patrick Moorhead, senior industry analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. “If there are major problems with raw materials, manufacturing, assembly, testing and transportation, it will be a disaster. “
Apple usually launches its flagship smartphone around September, so the virus is not expected to affect production plans, but it is also reported that it has a new low-cost iPhone, which will be released in the first half of 2020, possibly as early as March. This would put those mass production plans at greater risk.
Apple has ordered up to 65 million older iPhones and 15 million “iPhone 9s” and the new low-cost iPhone is scheduled to begin mass production in the third week of February, the Nikkei Asia Review reported.
In Henan province, where the Zhengzhou plant is located, confirmed cases of coronavirus are still on the rise, which could cause Foxconn or the government to delay work to prevent further infection, according to Matthew Kantman of Bloomberg.
Foxconn said it was monitoring the situation in China and following all recommended health practices. But, declining to disclose production conditions in specific areas, the company said: “We can confirm that we have taken steps to ensure that we can continue to meet all our global manufacturing obligations.” “
According to a person familiar with Apple’s supply chain business, it is unlikely to have a significant direct impact on its production plans.
Over the weekend, Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in a tweet that the company intended to donate to support Chinese groups fighting the coronavirus outbreak. Coronary viruses are a class of viruses that include the common cold, but this particular virus can cause severe acute respiratory infections, and the virus found this time has never been found before.