Apple may be feeling the effects of the coronavirus, officially called Covid-19. The company has officially re-opened almost all of its retail stores in China, however it has also warned employees that there may be a shortage of iPhone replacement units — and that replacement parts for heavily damaged phones will be in short supply for between two and four weeks, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The shortage will mostly affect parts, rather than iPhone units themselves, according to the report. In other words, when a customer brings in a damaged phone to be repaired, they may have to wait longer than usual, due to supply chain issues surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
The lack of parts for iPhone replacements is one of the first consumer-facing effects of the coronavirus on Apple’s supply chain. Rumors suggest that Apple will launch a new low-cost iPhone in the next few months, however, some reports indicate there may be a shortage in supply of that device due to the outbreak. The company has also started to see a shortage of iPhone Pro models, and the company has restricted employee travel to heavily impacted parts of the world.
Still, other recent reports suggest that Apple’s supply chain, including Foxconn, may be starting to return to normal. A report from Seeking Alpha highlights that the supply chain may be completely back to normal by the end of the month, which is sooner than expected.
Apple closed all 42 of its retail locations in China because of the outbreak, however, the company has reportedly re-opened 38 of those stores.
Apple isn’t the only major tech company to be impacted by the coronavirus. The outbreak has impacted the supply chain for many other companies, including Microsoft, and has caused the cancellation of a series of tech events, including Mobile World Congress, the Geneva Motor Show, and Facebook F8. The coronavirus impacted on other industries, too — like the movie industry. Recently, it was announced that No Time to Die, the latest film in the James Bond franchise, would be delayed due to concerns about the coronavirus.
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