A pair of key consumer electronics manufacturers, most famous for being the places that assemble Apple’s devices, have been forced to close. Reuters is reporting that both Foxconn and Unimicron have announced closures in the wake of newly-imposed restrictions after a COVID outbreak in the city of Shenzhen. Officials are asking locals to remain indoors wherever possible and has implemented a mass-testing regime in order to curtail the spread of the virus. As a consequence of the shutdown, Foxconn and Unimicron will suspend operations until further notice, adding that it has backup plans in place to address any delay.
And while the delay is expected to be fairly brief, it is yet another bump on the already rocky road for consumer electronics. After all, COVID has helped accelerate a crunch time for the tech industry, with chip supplies — already in short supply — becoming something of a rarity. And, as Reuters reported a few days previously, the invasion of Ukraine will have serious implications for the world’s supply of high-quality neon, used to make semiconductors. All of this means that new devices are going to be in even greater demand, and a lot more expensive while all of this stuff rages on in the background.