A Foxconn factory in India saw its iPhone 12 production drop by over 50% due to a COVID-19 outbreak there which forced infected workers to leave their posts, according to a Reuters report citing sources.
One source told Reuters that over 100 Foxconn employees in Tamil Nadu – the state where the factory is located – have tested positive for the coronavirus, and that the firm has banned entry to the factory until late May.
“Employees are only allowed to leave but not to enter the facility since yesterday,” the source said. “Only a small part of output is being kept.”
The affected factory produces iPhones specifically for India – the second largest smartphone market in the world after China. Earlier in March, it was reported that Foxconn would shift some of its iPhone 12 production out of China and to India.
The move was thought to be based on rising labour costs (in China) as well as escalating tensions between the US and China. India has also tempted major smartphone manufacturers with attractive subsidies.
Since March, however, the COVID-19 situation has grown exponentially worse in India – by some estimates, new cases are exceeding 350,000 per day, with deaths in the thousands. A full statewide lockdown has been imposed in the state of Tamil Nadu, where the factory is, since Monday.