Production on iPhones made in India has hit a major hurdle as coronavirus cases have surged in the country. More than 50% of one Foxconn factory’s production capacity has reportedly been cut.
India has seen its number of coronavirus cases ramping up significantly in April. To date, there have been 22.9 million confirmed cases of COVID in India, while 249,992 people have reportedly died. However, the actual numbers are thought to be even higher.
Unsurprisingly, this surge in cases has hit manufacturing as well — with iPhone manufacturing in India slumping as many workers have left their posts.
Foxconn, one of the companies that builds iPhones in India, said a “small number of employees” at one of its Indian factories have tested positive. It didn’t provide exact details regarding numbers or how iPhone output has been affected.
Reuters notes that:
“More than 100 Foxconn employees in the state have tested positive for COVID-19 and the company has enforced a no-entry ban at its factory in the capital of Chennai until late May, one [source] said.
‘Employees are only allowed to leave but not to enter the facility since yesterday,’ the person said. ‘Only a small part of output is being kept.’”
Apple’s manufacturing in India
In a statement to Reuters, Foxconn noted that it “places the health and safety of our employees as our highest priority and that is why we have been working closely with local government and public health authorities in India to address the challenges that we and all companies are facing in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.”
Apple has gradually been increasing manufacturing in India over the past several years. This is part of its efforts to reduce its reliance on China. Earlier this year, Foxconn began manufacturing the iPhone 12 in the country. Wistron was the first company to start building the iPhone in India, starting in 2017.
Apple recently donated money to support coronavirus relief efforts in India. “Amid a devastating rise of COVID cases in India, our thoughts are with the medical workers, our Apple family and everyone there who is fighting through this awful stage of the pandemic,” Tim Cook wrote in a tweet.