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India's coronavirus lockdown to affect Apple's iPhone XR production

Apple's major supplier Foxconn makes the iPhone XR in Chennai, which is an area that is now subject to India's COVID-19 lockdown.

Apple's iPhone XR lineup

Apple's iPhone XR lineup


Production of the iPhone XR at Apple supplier Foxconn's plant in Chennai, India, is expected to be halted or at least heavily restricted. The local Tamil Nadu area is subject to the country's lockdown procedure for preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

From 18:00 local time (08:30 ET) on Tuesday, the Indian government invoked Section 144 of its penal code and applied it to all public gatherings. Section 144 forbids the assembly of four or more people at one place, and during a lockdown, the country's Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, also restricts assembly to a similar number.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a country-wide lockdown from midnight Tuesday (14:30 ET), which will last until at least March 31.

"Since this is an extraordinary medical emergency," Greater Chennai Corporation commissioner G Prakash told The Times of India, "we have brought these stringent measures into place. Thirty joint teams of corporation and police will be on rounds checking who violates this."

Foxconn has been producing the iPhone XR in India since October 2019, following some weeks of trial runs, but was believed to be planning to manufacture the iPhone 11 in Chennai too. Currently the iPhone XR is reportedly dominating smartphone sales worldwide.

In January, reports of a dispute between Foxconn and Apple included claims that the manufacturer was canceling $5 billion of investment in India. Foxconn denies this.

As yet, Apple does not have an Apple Store in India, although it is believed to be planning one for Mumbai's Maker Maxity mall.