China virus outbreak may impact Apple iPhone if China extends Foxconn factory halt

First electron microscopic images of the novel coronavirus in China [CDC.gov, public domain, 1/24/2020]

Coronavirus, which WHO declared a global health emergency, threatens to disrupt Chinese manufacturing

The deadly virus outbreak that began in Wuhan, China continues to spread and claim lives around the world. At this time, still, the vast majority of infected patients and deaths are in mainland China, Hubei province.

The epidemic is also impacting business, finance, and technology production in China.

Apple's iPhone production relies in part on a Foxconn factory that has been shut down by the Chinese government.

If the halt is extended, Reuters reports today, this could impact iPhone production, availability, and sales.

Foxconn has so far sustained a “fairly small impact” from the outbreak, because the company shifted load to other factories in Vietnam, India and Mexico to fill the gap.

Excerpt:

In Eastern China’s Suzhou, one of its largest manufacturing hubs, companies have been told to stay shut until at least Feb. 8 and in Shanghai until Feb. 9. Factories in the southern manufacturing hub of Dongguan in export-oriented Guangdong province have also been told not to open before Feb. 10 (...)

The source said a halt beyond Feb. 10 could disrupt Foxconn’s shipments, highlighting concerns about production hubs in the southern province of Guangdong and the city of Zhengzhou in Henan province where key iPhone plants are located.

“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.”

An update on how bad the Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV situation is as of Monday, Feb. 3, 2020:

The number of deaths in China from the newly identified virus, which emerged in Wuhan city in the central province of Hubei in December, had risen to 361 as of Sunday, up 57 from the previous day, the National Health Commission said. China’s markets plunged at the open in their first session after an extended Lunar New Year break that began on Jan. 23, when the virus had claimed only 17 lives in Wuhan.

Since then, the flu-like virus has been declared a global emergency and spread to about two dozen other countries and regions, with the first death outside of China reported on Sunday, that of a 44-year-old Chinese man who died in the Philippines after travelling from Wuhan.