Type to search

Covid outbreak slashes iPhone output at India Foxconn factory

Apple insists it complies with Korea's new law on app-store commissions. File photo by Reuters.

A Covid breakout at a Foxconn factory in India has cut iPhone production at the facility in half.

The site in the southern state of Tamil Nadu produces iPhone 12s specifically for India, the world’s No2 smartphone market, but the region is also one of the worst hit by the second coronavirus wave engulfing the country.

Officials imposed a full lockdown in the state on Monday, closing public transport and closing shops. 

Also on ATF: Covid-fuelled digital boom sees SoftBank profits hit $45bn record 

More than 100 Foxconn employees in the state have tested positive for Covid-19 and the firm has enforced a no-entry ban at its factory in the capital of Chennai until late May, sources said. It’s claimed more than 50% of the plant’s capacity has been cut.

Taipei-based Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker and a major supplier to Apple, admitted a small number of employees at one of its facilities in India had tested positive for Covid and the company was providing them with support, including medical assistance.

Foxconn’s shares fell as much as 6.2% after the reports. The stock closed down 5.31%, outpacing a 3.8% fall in the broader market on concerns about rising Covid cases in Taiwan. 

India has benefited from Apple’s move to shift some areas of production from China to other markets as it navigates a trade war between Washington and Beijing, with Apple announcing in March it had started the assembly of the iPhone 12 in India. 


While Apple’s share of the budget phone-dominated India market is small, CEO Tim Cook said in January that its India business doubled in the December quarter compared to the previous year, helped by an online store launch. 

However, the outlook has been dimmed by the coronavirus crisis now engulfing India, where cases and deaths have surged at a record pace in recent weeks. The country has recorded around 22.66 million infections and more than 246,000 deaths, with experts saying the true figures could be far higher.

Foxconn is not the only producer affected. Nokia and Chinese smartphone maker OPPO last year suspended production at factories in India after workers tested positive for Covid.

  • Reporting by Reuters

Read more:

Indian telecoms struggle to dispel false 5G-trial Covid rumours

Tech giants seek $50 billion to boost US microchip production


Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


AF China Bond