Explosion Creates Potential iPad Production Loss of 500,000 Units as Foxconn Briefly Shuts All Polishing Lines

foxconn chengdu firefighters
Research firm IHS iSuppli yesterday issued a report estimating the potential iPad 2 production loss due to the explosion at its Chengdu, China plant at up to 500,000 units. The estimated shortfall comes after Foxconn reportedly reassured suppliers that production will continue.

While most iPad 2 production takes place at another Foxconn facility in Shenzhen, that plant may not be able to compensate for all the lost output in the second quarter at the Chengdu site. The Shenzhen facility at present has capacity to produce 7.5 million units in the second quarter - iSuppli forecasts 7.4 million iPad 2 units will be shipped out during this period. To support these shipments, Foxconn must manufacture a larger quantity of devices, at between 7.8 and 8.1 million units during the second quarter. This means that Foxconn's shipments will fall short of expected levels by between 300,000 and 600,000 units in the second quarter.

Preliminary investigations into the cause of the blast have pinpointed a buildup of combustible dust in the facility's ventilation system, and The Wall Street Journal reports that Foxconn has temporarily shut down polishing workshops at all of its facilities for testing in order to ensure that similar explosions do not occur elsewhere. Three workers were killed and over a dozen others were injured in the Chengdu blast.

A spokesman for Hon Hai said the company's tests at the affected workshops could last two days. "The workshops could be back online as soon as they pass the test," he said.

Foxconn has indicated that it has ample supplies of polished parts to carry it through the brief shutdown, suggesting that the testing will have little impact on the company's production capacity. The same can not be said for the damaged Chengdu production lines, as it will undoubtedly take time to sort out the events and restart production. The company does, however, have significant flexibility with its huge number of production lines at a number of different facilities, and its ability to move quickly on construction projects means that it could have the Chengdu plant back up and running in relatively short order.

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Top Rated Comments

RafaelT Avatar
170 months ago
Workers are killed and injured and the headline reads of production loss. :/ Something not right here.

How long are we supposed to focus on that before we can worry about the other issues that came from this accident.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RafaelT Avatar
170 months ago

You can focus on whatever

Some people have civility is all.

So if u want to complain that your iPad 2 will be even harder to get go right ahead.

I have a little violin playing for u when ur ready
By your logic this world basically just needs to stop and mourn. There is bad stuff happening all the time.

Humans have the ability to multi task, we can feel bad about a bad incident but still gather information about it about and deal with the result off that incident. We don't have to mourn for a certain period of time before that.

iPad production isn't just about the consumers getting the iPad's in their hands, what about all those workers who can't work while the investigation is going on? You think Foxconn is paying them? I guarantee they are not.

Anyway I am not going to let this turn into a debate about what is right and wrong and ruin the thread, I said my part and will not reply to anymore concerning this.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
*LTD* Avatar
170 months ago
Workers are killed and injured and the headline reads of production loss. :/ Something not right here.

MR and others have covered the tragedy in terms of worker injury already. We know what happened (more or less), and we're aware that some were injured and that there were fatalities.

It's now time to shift the focus to the tech/market perspective.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tCruzin4lyfe Avatar
170 months ago
It may help if u actually read the article genius.

Investigation ruled out foul play.

I suppose you think 9/11 was a govt conspiracy? Rofl this guy!



You can focus on whatever

Some people have civility is all.

So if u want to complain that your iPad 2 will be even harder to get go right ahead.

I have a little violin playing for u when ur ready

We have a violin playing right now for you & people who have this so called "civility" . It's a tech site, nobody is down playing the injuries or deaths but at the same time, that's life and it's not some major disaster. Advisers happen like this more often than most people think.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Thunderhawks Avatar
170 months ago


There is no way such an incident foes not affect total numbers. They are already running full tilt as it is.

The Chinese should be furious such an explosion has occurred. This kind of thing is what drove unions to form in the USA in the 1930s: worker safety and working conditions.
Your statement implies that nobody cares that there are accidents in China (or elsewhere).
Obviously any company that has to produce millions of devices makes sure that nothing explodes and jeopardizes their profits.
Unions could not have done a thing about this accident. They probably wouldn't even have had anybody with the expertise to analyze the venting process.
The fact that FoxConn is now testing its other facilities IMO shows that they were unaware of this possible danger and I am sure that from now on this area will get special attention and be monitored with re-written procedures, possibly additional equipment. Whatever it takes.

Again, they are taking this pre-caution not to jeopardize their profits.

Since everything in the end is always about money, sadly the underlying reason is not the fact that workers died.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boshii Avatar
170 months ago
Workers are killed and injured and the headline reads of production loss. :/ Something not right here.

You must've missed this article. https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1156372

It would be pointless to make two posts about the deaths. At the end of the day, the bottom line (iPad production) will be the main focus.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)