iPhone Camera Plant Shuts Down After Worker Contracts Coronavirus

Samsung and Innotek found infected employees and are disinfecting today

Why This Matters

The Coronavirus, which has now spread globally, continues to impact the tech sector with event cancellations and manufacturing plants pulled offline. These companies manufacture cutting-edge components for Samsung, Apple, and other tech companies. Any closure could hamper consumer product supplies in the future.

Man wearing mask
A south Korean man wearing mask to prevent the coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo by Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

LG Innotek, which builds the iPhone’s camera module, temporarily ceased operations over the weekend in its Gumi, South Korea plant after an employee tested positive for the Coronavirus, according to Reuters. Samsung’s neighboring mobile plant, responsible for building the new Galaxy Z Flip, also shut down when one of its employees tested positive.

The big picture… Both plants are close to Daegu, the epicenter of most South Korean Coronavirus cases. This is not the first time Apple’s manufacturing and supply chain has been impacted by the virus. A few weeks ago, Foxconn in China, which manufacturers most iPhones, shut down. Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged in a recent interview that process recovery will take some time, but does not view the virus impact “as a long term thing.”

He’s probably right. Neither plant plans on being offline for long. Both quickly shut down and started the cleanup process and hope to be operational by early this week.

By the Numbers

  • Coronavirus has reported inflected 90,000 people around the world.
  • 3,000 have died.
  • Mobile World Congress and Facebook F8 developers’ conferences were cancelled.
  • Game Developers Conference was postponed.

Bottom line. Even as officials say the worst of the virus’s impact may have passed in ground-zero China, its global spread continues, and the impact on the tech industry and consumer technology products is uncertain.

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