Even with the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis, the most crucial manufacturing partner of Apple Inc. has informed investors that it can still have the newest 5G iPhones ready for a rollout in the fall. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which is also known as Foxconn, said it can still make the deadline with months prior to the first pilot assembly lines beginning in June, Bloomberg reported.
The next version of the signature product of Apple could be its most critical for a long time. Now, the coronavirus pandemic is imperiling the iPhone maker’s intentions. Apple’s supply chain encompasses mass assembly as only one part of its operation that includes many suppliers. Apple and its myriad partners dedicate months or years to finding individual parts that are made into completed items.
Hon Hai faced challenges through a great part of February when the COVID-19 outbreak postponed the return of workers required to put together iPhones as well as other electronics. The report noted that the outbreak had put the carefully constructed product rollout timeline of Apple into question.
Investor relations chief Alex Yang said per the report, “We and the customer’s engineers are trying to catch up the missing gap, after we lost some days due to travel ban. There’s opportunity and possibility that we might catch up.” Yang continued, “But if there’s a further delay in the next few weeks, months, then you probably have to reconsider launching time. It’s still possible.”
In early March, news surfaced that Foxconn was back to work in China and it said production would be back to usual by the close of the month after the COVID-19 outbreak. Over half of its sidelined seasonal workers are now working after the firm said in the past that it couldn’t anticipate the impact of COVID-19 on revenue.
Chairman Liu Young-Way said during an online investor conference as previously reported, “Prevention of the outbreak, resumption of work and production are our top priority.”