Production of new devices usually starts in the summer, but during the first few months of the year, Apple employees visit China to perfect the assembly processes with production partners such as Foxconn. Reuters he spoke to former Apple employees who said it “could be bad” if Apple engineers had not been able to meet with Foxconn engineers in China to plan iPhone 12 production.
“They probably have an assembly line they’re trying on,” said one of the former employees who asked not to be nominated to discuss production issues.
“Are they Apple engineers with Foxconn engineers? If they are, they are probably making progress. But if they are not, if quarantined, this could be negative.”
People familiar with Apple’s process of prototyping devices for production said work typically resumes after the lunar new year. By February, Apple is normally in the late stages of engineering validation, where Foxconn workers assemble a limited number of devices and the production process is reviewed.
Reuters He says delays at this stage can affect how long Apple has to finalize orders for chips and other iPhone components that need to be made well in advance of the start of full production.
In March and April, engineers Apple and Foxconn work together to create assembly lines and perform tests, with final adjustments coming between April and May. A person familiar with the Apple trial said Reuters which is “very complicated” and there are “so many variables in the environment”.
Supply chain experts said Apple still has time to keep the “iPhone” program on track, but travel restrictions have made it difficult.
“No face-to-face work is done,” said an executive from a semiconductor company that supplies smartphone companies and works with teams in China, generally speaking about phone production cycles.
“And the word is that it probably won’t change for another month at most. You’re really talking about two lost months, which is huge in the consumer electronics cycle.”
Foxconn and other Apple suppliers were closed for several days in February and while factories are now up and running, they are not operating at full production capacity due to labor shortages, travel restrictions and quarantine. Senior Foxconn officials work remotely from Taipei and have not returned to China on a large scale.
U.S. airlines such as United, which Apple often uses, have also suspended many flights to China. United will not resume flights to Beijing, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Shanghai until April 24th. People who visit China are also subject to health checks and other restrictions on their return to the United States.
Apple has already warned investors that it will not be able to meet its revenue targets for the March quarter due to a shortage of devices and the closure of stores in China, which have affected device sales, and the company will provide additional information. on the impact of the coronavirus during its April Earnings Call.