Foxconn, Apple Inc.’s key iPhone assembler, expects that its major plant in China, which is being hit hard by worker unrest following Covid-19 spread and related restrictions, would restart full production around late December to early January, Reuters reported citing a Foxconn source.
At the world’s biggest iPhone factory in the Zhengzhou city, called iPhone City, the situation related to the protests has stabilized, amid easing of COVID restrictions by the Government.
New staff hiring is underway, and the capacity at the plant is now being gradually resumed, the report said. It is expected that with the smooth recruitment process, it could take around three to four weeks to resume full production.
The report comes as Apple is said to have accelerated plans to shift some of its production outside China amid ongoing tensions.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the tech giant is telling suppliers to plan more actively for assembling Apple products elsewhere in Asia, particularly India and Vietnam, and looking to reduce dependence on Taiwanese assemblers.
Apple, which assembles most of its iPhones in China, had already shifted some production of its flagship smartphone iPhone 14 from China to India in September.
Foxconn will manufacture the smartphone at its Sriperumbudur factory on the outskirts of Chennai, India.
Apple’s proposed production shift reflects the continuing tensions between the US and China, along with the ongoing Covid issues.
The tech major’s key manufacturing hub of Zhengzhou has been struggling with issues among workers following strict Covid-19 restrictions. Foxconn is said to have employed as many as 300,000 workers at the factory, which produces the majority of Apple’s premium models including iPhone 14 Pro.
At the plant, many workers fled in October after food shortages and to avoid strict Covid-19 restrictions, while others have to isolate to combat the spread of the virus. The issues had disrupted the production of Apple products ahead of the crucial Christmas and New Year holidays.
Earlier, Apple had warned that the shipments of iPhone 14 would be lower than expected due to the China Covid issues.
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