Usually, the manufacturing of new Apple devices begins in the summer, but Apple officials visit China to perfect assembly lines during the first months of each year.
Some former Apple employees stated that it “could be bad” if the company’s engineers won’t be able to meet with other designated officials in China to plan the production of the iPhone 12:
“They probably have one assembly line they’re trying things out on,” said one of the former employees who asked not to be named discussing production matters.
“Are Apple’s engineers with the Foxconn engineers? If they are, they’re probably making progress. But if they’re not, if they’re quarantined, that could be bad.”
The usual process
Those who are familiar with Apple’s way of manufacturing and prototyping revealed that work usually picks up immediately after the Lunar New Year. Apple is generally in the late stages of validation by February. At that point, Foxconn workers assemble a limited number of iPhones, and the whole manufacturing process is reviewed.
Foxconn and other Apple suppliers were forced to shut down operation for a couple of days this month.
Factories are up and running now, but they are not operating at full production capacity because of labor shortages, restrictions imposed by the outbreaks, and even quarantines.
Many Foxconn officials were working remotely from Taipei and avoided returning to China on a large scale.