Apple provider Foxlink is unlikely to resume operations in India for 2 months after the fire


Apple supplier Foxlink’s factory in southern India is unlikely to resume full operations for two months after a fire, raising concerns about disruptions to the iPhone maker’s supply chain, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Foxlink’s facility in Chittor district of Andhra Pradesh, India, which manufactures charging cables for iPhone models, was engulfed in a massive fire on Monday, causing part of the building to collapse. There are no casualties.

A source with direct knowledge said Foxlink operates a total of 10 assembly lines at its Andhra plant at two separate facilities, four of which were completely damaged and are not expected to resume operations for two months.

Production at the remaining six assembly lines is expected to resume later this week. Although they were not affected by the fire, they are currently unavailable due to damage to their computer servers.

A second source familiar with the news said Foxlink was Apple’s main supplier in India and “there could be potential disruptions in the supply chain for iPhones made in India or shipped from India.”

Apple and Foxlink did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The cause of the incident is still under investigation, the first source added.

The incident is the latest problem facing Apple suppliers in India, which is ramping up production and exports. Apple has 11 suppliers in the country.

In 2021, production was halted at an Apple contractor Foxconn factory after workers suffered food poisoning, and a factory in Wistron India was hit by worker protests in 2020 over unpaid wages.

Business impact

Reuters visited the Foxlink site on Tuesday, where part of the building was completely gutted and smoke was still billowing from parts of it.

Many workers gathered outside the facility, some worried about the status of their contract jobs. They told Reuters that the fire started during the lunch break on Monday, and some air conditioners exploded as the fire spread.

“The fire is out of control,” said the worker, who asked not to be named.

Foxlink management is currently reviewing the situation and expects to have a clear picture of the business impact in the next couple of days, the first source added.

A police official told Reuters on Monday that the factory suffered about $12 million in damage. Employees said the Foxlink plant produces charging cables used in iPhones, but it was not immediately clear whether Apple has other suppliers for the cables in India.

Cupertino, California-based Apple has been betting big on India since it began assembling iPhones in the country in 2017 through Wistron and later Foxconn in response to the Indian government’s push for local manufacturing. .

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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