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Foxconn Says Apple’s 5G iPhones Can Still Launch on Time

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Eileen Potsangbam
Eileen Potsangbam Apr 22, 2020

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, iPhone launches might be the farthest thing from anyone’s mind. Still, here’s some news that I think might cheer you up in the middle of this pandemic! Taiwan-based electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn, or Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., has reassured investors that it can still get Apple’s 5G iPhones ready for an autumn launch despite the disruptions caused by the global pandemic.

Here’s What Went Down

On a conference call hosted by Goldman Sachs, Foxconn’s investor relations chief Alex Yang told investors that as there are still some months to go before the first trial assembly of Apple’s 5G iPhone and other electronics in June, they can make the deadline.

Foxconn had to close down its factories for a month in February due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which delayed the return of the thousands of workers they needed to assemble iPhones and other electronics. Although it has since resumed normal operations (though not in India), the month-long hiatus might have put a wrench in Apple’s carefully calibrated iPhone 5G release date.

According to Alex Yang, the manufacturing company is working with Apple’s engineers to make up for the lost time. However, he cautioned that much depends on the pandemic’s course and that a postponement of the iPhone 5G’s release date is still very much a possibility.

We and the customer’s engineers are trying to catch up [on] the missing gap after we lost some days due to the travel ban. There’s opportunity and possibility that we might catch up,” Yang said. “But if there’s a further delay in the next few weeks, months, then you probably have to reconsider launching time. It’s still possible.”

Talking About Repercussions…

Mass assembly is, however, only one part of the iPhone maker’s supply chain. Apple and its many partners typically spend months and sometimes even years sourcing individual components that are assembled into the final products. So, any disruptions to this complex process could slow down the introduction of new devices.Apple is rumoured to introduce four high-end iPhone 12 models this autumn—a 5.4-inch, 6.1-inch (two of them), and 6.7-inch variants—with notched OLED displays, 5G support, and even a LiDAR scanner in some (or all!) of the models. Not gonna lie, it’s kinda exciting!

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