As the impacts of the coronavirus on businesses remains unclear, Foxconn is trying to appease its partners by announcing today that it expects to resume normal production at full capacity in China by the end of March.
Foxconn remains Apple’s primary producer of high-end flagship iPhone models. Whilst parts come in from all over the world, final assembly of Apple’s most expensive iPhones happens in Foxconn factories, so it’s good news for Apple that Foxconn thinks it can be back up and running sooner rather than later.
In addition to production of current models, the spring period is critically important for Apple’s schedule of the next-generation phones, which will be sold to customers in the fall (usually September). At this time in a typical year, Apple engineers are working with Foxconn to optimize prototypes and solidify production lines ready for mass production in the late summer.
It remains unclear how much of this process has been delayed by the coronavirus situation. Recent reports suggest that the iPhone 12 should still be on track to launch in the September timeframe, but may only be available in limited quantities initially.
Apple announced that it would miss its revenue guidance numbers due to the volatility of supply and demand as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The company was originally expecting somewhere between $62-$67 billion in revenue, but the statement suggested Apple would miss the low end of that range. Apple did not release revised numbers, so investors are holding the breath to see just how much Apple misses by in the current quarter.