iPhone Assemblers in India Shut Down After Nationwide 21-Day Lockdown Order

iPhone production in India is going to be affected following a nationwide lockdown order from the Indian government.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, a 21-day lockdown, which started from midnight on Tuesday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement, is expected to result in a decline this year in India’s smartphone market, the world’s second largest after China, as manufacturers comply with the order and domestic consumption slows down during that period, according to analysts.

Apple’s main iPhone assemblers, Foxconn and Wistron, as well as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, have temporarily shut down their plants in India in line with the government’s directive.

“In the worst-case scenario, the Indian smartphone market could see a 4.2 per cent decline in 2020,” said Nicole Peng, vice-president of mobility advisory services at Canalys.

The report notes that Apple’s Hyderabad office, which houses thousands of Apple Maps workers may also be affected by the measures.

Apple’s expansion into India is a recent development, Wistron only opened its third iPhone plant in the country in January of this year, boosting Apple’s manufacturing base in the country significantly. The move also helps Apple to avoid substantial import tariffs on its products, one of the many hurdles Apple is trying to clear in order to establish a retail presence, both online and on the high street in the country.

Because of COVID-19, Apple has also shut down all its retail stores outside of Greater China, with no reopening date in sight. It is still selling products through its Online Store, including the newly launched 2020 iPad Pro and 2020 MacBook Air.

Apple’s annual WWDC 2020 event is also going to be online-only in June. Apple, along with other tech giants, is also focused on support efforts to help governments, medical workers, and its employees deal with COVID-19.