A new report from Nikkei today says that iPhone assembler Foxconn has hired enough workers to meet “seasonal demand.” What this seemingly means is that Foxconn has recovered from the COVID-19 shutdown in China and is prepared to ramp up mass production for the iPhone 12.
The report says:
Taiwan’s Foxconn, the top assembler of Apple’s iPhones, said it has secured enough workers to meet “seasonal demand” at all major Chinese plants, stressing a steady recovery from the labor shortage caused by the novel coronavirus epidemic on the mainland. The company issued a statement Sunday night saying recruitment goals have been reached.
iPhone 12 production is expected to peak in July ahead of a fall release, the report says. The report also points out, however, that Foxconn production volume in February and March is believed to be at around half that level, so there’s still a “long way to go” before returning to full production.
This falls in line with a Bloomberg report from last week, which indicated that the iPhone 12 is still on schedule to be released this fall despite delays caused by COVID-19. This could change as the situation evolves, though. For instance, Apple has suppliers for the iPhone around the world, including in countries where coronavirus shutdowns are still taking place.
As we said last week:
For example, key Apple suppliers in Malaysia have halted production due to a two-week lockdown in the country because of COVID-19. Apple suppliers and teams in other countries, including South Korea, the UK, United States, Italy, and Germany have also been affected.
In the United States, Apple relies on Broadcom for wireless chips, but Broadcom CEO Hock Tan has already said that COVID-19 “is going to have an impact on our semiconductor business, in particular in the second half of the fiscal year.”
Ultimately, Foxconn appears ready to handle the upcoming production ramp of the iPhone 12, but things are still in flux due to other suppliers affected by COVID-19. Foxconn even says production rates are “ahead of schedule” at its plants.
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