The fallout from the recent massive explosion at the Foxconn plant at Chengdu in China looks like it is going to affect the iPhone 5 release date among other things.
Of course, the saddest news to come out the issue is the death of 2 workers at the factory where Apple devices are made. Of the 16 reported as injured it now appears that 3 of these are seriously hurt. It is the latest in a long line of problems to cast a shadow over the Taiwanese owned plant, which has had to cope with suicides and allegations of excessively difficult working conditions.
In a strictly business sense, Apple chiefs must be fearing the worst in terms of the production of their big selling devices. The iPhone 5 release date has been the subject of speculation for quite some time, and the smart money was riding on August or September of this year. However, these latest problems could knock back this date and also lead to iPad 2 shortages in the very near future.
As regards the fire itself, new evidence is apparently leading investigators to believe that it was caused by a lightning strike in a polishing plant. This part of the factory uses incredibly light dust, which is highly flammable.
More details about the incident are sure to come out soon but for the meantime we will need to wait to see what impact this will on the Apple production line.
Do you think the iPhone 5 will see the light of day this year?