Apple started manufacturing iPhone 12 in India recently, but according to a report by Reuters the production capacity at one of the factories has shrunken by half. The cause is that over 100 employees at the Foxconn-operated facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
There are dormitories on site where employees can stay, they are the ones keeping production running. Employees are allowed to leave, but as a precaution no one is allowed to get in. The two sources quoted by the publication do not know how many workers are at the factory in total.
The factory is located in southern state of Tamil Nadu, near the capital of Chennai. The state is one of the worst affected by the second wave of the pandemic and it entered a full lockdown on Monday when public transport and shops were shut down in an attempt to stem the spread of the disease.
Foxconn’s facility in Tamil Nadu, India
“Foxconn places the health and safety of our employees as our highest priority and that is why we have been working closely with local government and public health authorities in India to address the challenges that we and all companies are facing in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis,” Foxconn told Reuters.
The Foxconn facility was set up in 2019 to produce high-end iPhones for the Indian market. There is also a Wistron facility, which is located near Bengaluru in the neighboring state of Karnataka and it started making lower end models like the original SE and iPhone 6S in 2017.
As India went into lockdown last year many factories had to stop work. After the lockdown ended, plans to reopen quickly ran into trouble. In mid-May Oppo had to temporarily shut down its factory in Greater Noida as six employees tested positive for COVID-19. A few days later a Nokia Networks factory shut down after 18 employees tested positive.