Apple was planning to boost iPhone production in the first half of 2020 by ten percent from a year ago, but now its suppliers caution that the coronavirus could impact the production hike.

Nikkei Asian Review has the story:

Suppliers warned that blistering pace of production could be complicated by the outbreak of the coronavirus in China’s Hubei Province, given their main manufacturing centers are in nearby Henan and Guangdong provinces, with more than 100 confirmed cases as of Monday afternoon, and in Shanghai, with over 50 confirmed cases.

According to a supply chain executive, China’s coronavirus situation “could affect the planned production schedule.” Another source added that the coronavirus has created “massive uncertainties and challenges” for production of both iPhones and AirPods.

Foxconn founder Terry Gou last week said that the rapid spread of the coronavirus could accelerate due to mass travel during the Lunar New Year, disrupting supply chains.

Foxconn is the world’s biggest maker of iPhones.

Nikkei learned that Apple had asked its suppliers to produce about eighty million iPhones in the first half of 2020. The production hike apparently mainly focuses on the new iPhone 11 family (around 65 million units) but also includes models said to come in March (approximately fifteen million units), most likely referring to the rumored iPhone SE successor.

From the report:

The new cut-price iPhone that Apple plans to unveil in March represents a continuation of the new cost-conscious approach. Mass production is due to start in the third week of February, although that schedule may change due to the virus outbreak, two sources familiar with the situation told the Nikkei Asian Review.

The coronavirus situation is getting more and more complicated with each passing day.

The SARS-like virus took more than a hundred lives on the mainland, prompting the Chinese government to lock down Hubei Province. There were over 4,500 confirmed cases of the coronavirus at post time around the world.