Foxconn’s Hon Hai, the most important manufacturer for the U.S. company, said Tuesday it still expects to be able to restart facilities throughout China on schedule, according to a text message sent to Bloomberg News. Suppliers such as Quanta Computer Inc., Inventec Corp. and LG Display Co. also said they would go back to work next week in China.
The vast majority of Apple’s iPhones are made in China, at Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant and at Pegatron’s assembly site near Shanghai. Both locations are more than 500 kilometers away from Wuhan in central China, the epicenter of the viral outbreak.
Despite being ordered to halt “almost all” of its production in China through February 9, Foxconn recently claimed the viral outbreak has had a “fairly small impact” on iPhone production. Foxconn has factories in other countries such as Vietnam, India, and Mexico that have apparently been able to fill the gap.
Apple last week announced that it has closed all of its corporate offices, stores, and contact centers in mainland China through February 9 due to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, out of an abundance of caution. Apple has around 10,000 direct employees in China, across its retail and corporate divisions.
The timing of the coronavirus outbreak could impact supply of the new lower-cost iPhone that Apple is expected to announce in March. Bloomberg recently reported that production of the device was slated to begin in February, but the coronavirus outbreak could delay that timeframe.
More than 20,000 people have been infected with the virus and more than 400 have died. Last week, the World Health Organization declared the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency. More information about the virus and how to protect yourself is available on the agency’s website.