iPad factory in China restarts production after historic heat wave

A major iPad factory in China has resumed operating at normal capacity after a historic heat wave halted production.

As Nikkei reports, Taiwanese iPhone maker Foxconn restarted production at its Chengdu plant on Thursday following a heat wave that caused power supply problems.

“Foxconn’s Chengdu plant, which assembles iPads for Apple, resumed operation at normal capacity on Thursday,” the report said. According to Nikkei, Foxconn is supplied with electricity by the authorities on a priority basis because of its economic importance.

Can’t stand the heat

Temperatures in Sichuan peaked at over 40 degrees during the historic heatwave, which thankfully began to subside last week thanks to rain in the region. Electricity supply problems have been driven by the demand for energy used by air conditioning, as well as the impact on hydroelectric plants which are struggling to find water due to drought. The first would have exceeded peak demand, the second is not expected to increase operating rates for some time. The heat wave was so strong that even some retail stores had to reduce their normal opening hours.

The local government had ordered factories to suspend work from August 14, initially until August 20, although that directive was later extended until Thursday.

While the disruption may impact the supply of current and future iPads, the resumption of production will be good news for Apple ahead of its fall release schedule, where the company is expected to launch a new iPad Pro and a new 10th generation base model iPad with an all-new design, processor and USB-C port. The company has already announced an iPhone event in September where it is expected to unveil a new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro and several new Apple Watch models including the Series 8, Apple Watch SE and a new Apple Watch Pro with a larger design focused on sturdiness and outdoor activities.

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