The production of iPhones could be in for a big hit if Apple supplier Foxconn finds that it is forced to keep its Chinese factory closed for a prolonged period of time, according to a new report.

Reuters cites an unnamed source when it says that while Foxconn is reportedly seeing only limited impact right now, the factory closure will become more of a problem if it extends beyond the current February 10 deadline. Right now, Foxconn is able to rely on its factories outside of China to pick up the slack.

The source told Reuters on Monday that Foxconn has so far seen a “fairly small impact” from the outbreak as it was utilizing factories in countries including Vietnam, India and Mexico to fill the gap, adding that the company will be able to make up for the delay if factories work overtime after the ban.

However, that could all change pretty soon if the Chinese government decides that the coronavirus is still too much of a risk to allow sites to re-open. Apple currently has all of its stores, offices, and call centers closed as a precaution, too.

“What we are worried about is delays for another week or even another month. The impact would be big,” the source said. “It definitely will have an impact on the Apple production line.”

“The tricky question is whether we will be able to resume production (on Feb. 10)…It’s up to the instructions given by central and provincial governments.”

Apple, and particularly Foxconn, will now be looking to Chinese officials to see whether iPhone plans for the next few weeks could be in jeopardy.

(Source: Reuters)

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