Samsung Electronics Co. stated on Sunday that the company temporarily shut down its smartphone plant located in the southeastern city of Gumi of North Gyeongsang Province.
The South Korean tech giant said that due to a plant employee that tested positive for COVID-19, the company decided to temporarily close its Gumi plant. Samsung produces smartphones, including the Galaxy Fold and the newly released Galaxy Z Flip at the said plant.
According to a Samsung official, the decision will not create a noticeable impact on the company’s smartphone production output as the situation is properly under control.
In a press release, the smartphone maker announced that employees who made contact with the infected patient placed themselves in quarantine. Samsung added that it adopted a precautionary measure testing workers for potential infection with the novel coronavirus.
The factory in Gumi will proceed with its operation on Monday afternoon after accomplishing the two-day disinfectant procedures. To further stop the spread of the virus, access to the area where the infected employee works would be off-limits until February 25.
Over the past couple of years, Samsung moved majority of its output to Vietnam, making the situation in Gumi with a small production volume short-lived. According to officials, the weekend shutdown will have insignificant effects on the overall yield of the company’s smartphone production.
Galaxy Smartphone Production
Samsung assured consumers that it would not increase the price of its two new smartphones, the Galaxy Z Flip and the Galaxy S20. The electronics company introduced both phones during the Samsung Unpacked 2020 event last January. The South Korean company said it would instead control its inventory, as consumers are unlikely to easily purchase the phones as of the moment due to the COVID-19 spread.
However, Samsung may also need to delay the production of the Fold, and Flip phone models as the company’s Vietnam-based factories heavily rely on China for parts supply, which at the moment suffers from factory shutdowns.
Meanwhile, the company intends to continue as scheduled with its planned promotional events for its flagship phones, switching to online marketing rather than offline events.
According to market analyst firm IHS Markit, after exporting 295 million shipments last year, Samsung became the largest smartphone seller, seconded by China’s Huawei with 241 million units, and third by Apple with 193 million.
Industry experts expect the annual smartphone production to decrease worldwide as the COVID-19 spreads.