As you’re reading this, some factories in India are not producing iPhones because of extreme weather and heavy rains (via Reuters).
Taiwan’s Foxconn and Pegatron have halted production of iPhones at their factories near Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, India’s southernmost state and home to more than 70 million people.
Right now, the cyclonic storm ‘Michaung’ is causing major damage to the local infrastructure and the people of Chennai, with reports of five killed because of the extreme weather. The report says that the runway of one of the country’s busiest airports was submerged after torrential rain as the city braces for a severe cyclone expected to hit in the next 24 hours.
Foxconn employs about 35,000 people at its Tamil Nadu iPhone factory and has yet to decide whether to resume production on Tuesday, but that’s up to the Michaung cyclone and the way things unfold in the next hours.
Apple’s move to India follows the Cupertino giant’s effort to diversify its global production away from China. In 2017, Apple began manufacturing iPhones in India, but for the first several years, only older or lower-budget phones were made in India.
Then came the iPhone 14 and Apple decided to give the green light to Foxconn to start building the new model in India. It’s also in India that the iPhone 15 is being manufactured, only at a much higher speed and volume. At the beginning of 2023, Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said that around 5% of all iPhones were currently manufactured in India, and the company’s goal is to raise that to 25%.
Reuters notes that this is the second time in recent months that Pegatron has been forced to shut its factory. In September, the assembly of iPhones was temporarily halted after a fire.