Coronavirus outbreak compels iPhone camera supplier LG Innotek to shut down factory

Apple breaks down the specs of the three rear cameras in iPhone 11 Pro

LG Innotek’s manufacturing plant in Gumi, South Korea that supplies iPhone camera modules has been temporarily shuttered over the global coronavirus outbreak.

Reuters reported yesterday that the Gumi factory was shut down over the weekend because a worker was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus. The manufacturing facility might re-open tomorrow, but at this point it’s anyone’s guess whether it’ll function at full capacity.

Most of the South Korean virus cases have been confirmed in Daegu, which is close to Gumi.

LG Innotek is on Apple’s current supplier list [PDF document]. Is this a challenge to Apple? After all, the Gumi facility churns out iPhone camera modules. That said, there should be no disruptions to the iPhone production because Apple typically diversifies suppliers in order to mitigate risk and reduce its dependency on any one particular supplier.

Even Tim Cook recently said it felt to him that China was getting the coronavirus under control.

Here’s a quote from Cook’s recent video interview with Fox News where he discusses suppliers:

On the supplier side, we have suppliers, you know, iPhone is built everywhere in the world. We have key components coming from the United States, we have key parts that are in China, and so on and so forth. When you look at the parts that are done in China, we have reopened factories, so the factories were able to work through the conditions of opening. They’re also in ramp, so I think of this as sort of the third phase of getting back to normal and we’re in phase three of the ramp mode.

Meanwhile, rival Samsung Electronics has also closed down its South Korean manufacturing facility in Daegu after its employee tested positive for the coronavirus.