Apple’s iPhone factories in India are closing temporarily, after the Indian government ordered the country’s population of 1.3 billion people to stay at home for at least three weeks in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The factories in India have suspended production until at least April 14 following the nationwide lockdown ordered by President by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As reported by Bloomberg:
Foxconn and Wistron Corp. have suspended production at their India plants, which include the assembly of some Apple Inc. iPhone models, in order to comply with a nationwide lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is suspending operations until April 14, the company said in a text message to Bloomberg News. It intends to resume India production based on further government announcements. A Wistron representative said the company is also adhering to the order, while declining to comment on exactly what products are affected.
The 21-day lockdown was announced by Modi via a televised address to the nation on Tuesday evening. “For a few days forget what it means to go out. Today’s decision of a nationwide lockdown draws a line outside your home,” the PM said.
Wistron’s new plant in India was poised to assemble printed circuit boards (PCBs) for iPhones in April, a first for the Taiwanese contract manufacturer that will save Apple having to pay import taxes on the vital Indian smartphone component.
Wistron’s other plant, located in central Bengaluru, has been pumping out iPhone SE, iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 models since 2017. Wistron’s larger rival, Foxconn, began making iPhone XR models in India last year. Apple also has an office with thousands of employees in Hyderabad, working on Apple Maps data.
All of the plants and offices are likely to be impacted by the virus-fighting measures, which come into force just as Apple planned to ramp up efforts to bring online and in-store sales to customers in India for the first time.
Apple was the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in India last year with 41 percent annual growth, according to recent market research data. India also recently relaxed rules on local sourcing of components, paving the way for Apple to open an online store in India later this year and its first retail store in the country by next year.