KEY POINTS

  • The current Coronavirus outbreak has impacted Apple's business in China
  • The virus forced Apple to close its plants, which is expected to result in fewer shipments
  • Apple is believed to have moved production to other countries such as India and Taiwan

Apple, faced with uncertainties caused by the current Coronavirus outbreak in China, will move some production to other countries such as India and Taiwan, an analyst claims.

The current Coronavirus outbreak in China has caused a lot of problems to the public. According to Worldometers, a website that monitors the number of people that have been affected by the disease, more than 40,600 confirmed cases have been reported worldwide, and 40,185 of these are in China.

The worries and fears that the virus caused the public have affected Apple's business, too much that it was forced to close its retail stores, offices and manufacturing plants in the Asian country. And because the Cupertino tech giant was forced to halt production, it is expected to miss its target shipments this year.

Noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, in a research note (seen by Apple Insider), explained his belief that Apple will move some production to its facilities outside China – particularly to the facilities in India and Taiwan. Although he understands that those facilities' “capacities are limited,” he believes that Cupertino has moved production to them in order to continue producing devices.

Per Kuo, Apple's factory in Zhengzhou, which is closed at the moment, is responsible for most of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro assemblies. This site is critical to the production of Cupertino's iPhones, but the company cannot expect it to return to full production right away. Kuo expects that only 40 to 60 percent of its labor force will return once opened.

Apple's factory in Shenzen, believed to be where the iPhone 12 is being developed, is also impacted by the outbreak. Although the team behind the iPhone 11 successor hasn't stopped working, Kuo noted that labor is impacted, and that only 30 to 50 of the labor force can be expected to return once production resumes.

Apple partner Pegatron, which is in charge of iPhone production, is also impacted. Its Shanghai facility, despite resuming operations on Feb. 3, saw only about 90 percent of its workers return. Kuo expects this number to drop to 60 percent after the company pays its workers.

Pegatron's facility in Kunshan, on the other hand, hasn't resumed production yet. It was originally scheduled to resume Feb. 10, but has been delayed to a later date. Kuo expects a 40 to 60 percent labor return rate once operations resume.

Foxconn Workers Workers are seen inside a Foxconn factory in the township of Longhua in the southern Guangdong province, May 26, 2010. Photo: REUTERS/Bobby Yip