Apple manufactures planning for production levels to return to normal by the end of March

The unprecedented measures carried out by the Chinese government have contained the spread of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus, promoting Apple’s contract manufacturers to start planning for their production levels to return to normal by the end of this month.

In its Wednesday article, hit-and-miss Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes reported that Apple’s biggest contract manufacturers and continuing to see increasing capacity recovery in China as more of their employees are starting to return to work now.

An excerpt from the DigiTimes report:

However, both firms remain concerned about tight component supply, while consumer demand is likely to be pushed back as the coronavirus has been spreading worldwide.

Although the outbreak is expanding worldwide, the epidemic in China has started slowing down recently, prompting the Chinese government to keenly assist local factories to resume their production with Taiwan-based notebook original design manufacturers (ODMs) being one of the main targeting industries to receive assistance, the sources pointed out.

The following companies are planning for normal production levels:

  • Foxconn: Foxconn is the world’s leading contract manufacturer that builds iPhones
  • Compal Electronics: The second–largest laptop manufacturer in the world
  • Wistron: Wistron also builds iPhones, alongside laptops and other devices

However, Compal and Wistron both remain “concerned” about tight component supplies.

That’s because Apple’s supply chain is a complex animal: Apple manufacturers rely on part makers which are still posting less than fifty percent capacity recovery rates.

As these firms get back to work, another report published this morning claimed that TSMC, an Apple chip maker, is now prepping to kick off volume production of five-nanometer chips.

First Apple products powered by TSMC-manufactured chips are due later this year.