By Giacomo Martiradonna Monday 10 February 2020
The Coronavirus epidemic outbreak is also causing problems for Apple. Not only has the production of the new iPhones been postponed indefinitely, but the Apple Stores also remain closed.
In theory, the Foxconn plants in Shenzhen were to reopen on February 2, in conjunction with the end of the Lunar New Year and in time to start production of the iPhone 9. In practice, due to the prevention procedures of the spread of Coronavirus, the factories are still closed, as are the country's Apple Stores.
Production in India?
Health authorities in the Longhua district of Shenzhen are still finalizing the latest inspections of Foxconn plants, and the efficacy of the Coronavirus spreading measures proposed by the company are being examined; initiatives that include body temperature carpet checks, mandatory face mask and a more hygienic business lunch system.
And although in theory there is no mention of a total block of the plants (as erroneously reported at the beginning by the newspapers), certainly there are important delays on the assembly line. Such as to jeopardize the launch of the iPhone 9, scheduled for March. And the proof lies in the fact that Foxconn has recently cut revenue forecasts for 2020, precisely because of the virus, with mass production plodding to 40-60% of full potential.
It is therefore not surprising that, in this chaotic scenario, society is considering the idea of move production to India; a gargantuan operation that will cause quite a stir for shareholders, customers and workers.
Apple Store Closed
Meanwhile, Apple offices, contact centers and Chinese Apple Stores, closed due to Coronavirus in recent weeks, will continue to remain closed.
In a recent email Deirdre O'Brien, global manager of human resources for the apple, explained that these days they are setting up new health protocols, unprecedented restrictions in local public areas, and special disinfection policies that will lead to the postponement of the reopening date initially scheduled for 9 February.
The situation -It seems to understand- in the process of normalization, but for the moment nothing is known, and thegreat uncertainty.