In spite of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak in China, Foxconn has reportedly seen a “fairly small impact” on its production lines. However, it could face a big hit if the Chinese government forces factories to remain closed for another week.
According to a report from Reuters, Foxconn could see a big impact on its iPhone production lines if the local government forces the factories to remain closed for a longer duration. It is being reported that Apple’s largest manufacturing partner has stopped almost all of its production in China starting February 9, but its factories in India, Mexico, and Vietnam have been able to fill the gap, for now.
Apple is expected to unveil the new low-cost iPhone sometime next month, and a further closure of Foxconn’s manufacturing lines could severely impact the supply of iPhone 9 units.
According to Bloomberg, Apple had planned to start the production of the iPhone 9 in February but the Coronavirus outbreak could delay those plans. Since Foxconn has factories outside of China, the Cupertino-based firm could still launch the iPhone in March, albeit with limited stock.
Noted market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has mentioned that the Coronavirus outbreak could lead to a 10 percent drop in iPhone sales to 36-40 million units in the first quarter of 2020.
The World Health Organization has already declared the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency. Apple has closed all its contact centers, corporate offices, and stores in China through February 9.
Apple is not the only company that faces production problems, though. Huawei, the second-largest smartphone brand in the world, is facing a drop in production. A majority of its sales now happen in its home country due to the lack of Google Play Services following China-US trade tensions and a subsequent ban.