Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (Foxconn), one of the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturers; is forced to cut Apple smartphone production at its Indian plant by more than 50%. This is reported today by Reuters, citing knowledgeable sources.
The reduction in production volumes by more than half is due to the spread of the coronavirus. The second wave of the pandemic hit India hard, and especially Tamil Nadu. Because of this, the state authorities had to declare a regime of complete self-isolation, close shops and suspend public transport.
According to reports, over 100 Foxconn employees at the Indian plant have been infected with the coronavirus. The company had to impose a ban on visiting the plant: now workers can only leave the plant, but not enter its territory.
As a consequence, the release of the iPhone 12 has dropped sharply. Restrictive measures will be in effect at least until the end of May. Obviously, this will provoke a shortage of Apple smartphones – at least in India.
Apple gives Corning $ 45 million to create flexible glass for foldable iPhone
In separate news, Apple announced a $ 45 million allocation to Corning, which develops screen protectors for smartphones and other devices. Note that this is not Apple’s first investment in this company: they gave it $ 200 million in 2017 and $ 250 million in 2019. The investment will focus on expanding Corning’s manufacturing facilities in the United States and stimulating research and development on innovative new technologies that ensure product reliability and durability.
The collaboration between the two companies began with the release of the first iPhone. Last year, they collaborated to create Ceramic Shield glass for the iPhone 12 series of smartphones. Apple claims it is ” tougher than any smartphone glass ” and gives its flagships four times the resistance to damage from drops. Note that Corning Gorilla Glass is also in use in Android smartphones by many manufacturers.
Apple hasn’t specified how Corning will use the new investment; but recent reports of Apple’s plans to launch a foldable iPhone in 2023 suggest a flexible version of Gorilla Glass.
Corning said in February this year that devices with its new flexible glass will hit the market in 12-18 months. If successful, Corning’s flexible glass will allow for rugged foldable smartphones that don’t require a layer of plastic protection like Samsung’s flexible screen devices.