On March 4, Bloomberg reported Apple told its retail employees that its supply of replacement iPhones is constrained. The Big Tech firm notified its Geniuses it expects a 2 to 4 week shortage in substitution handsets. The corporation is experiencing a lack of hardware due to the novel coronavirus’s impact on its global supply chain.
Apple’s iPhone Replacement Shortage
Like many corporations that center their manufacturing operations in China, Apple has dealt with significant disruption to its supply chain since the coronavirus epidemic began. Specifically, the firm took a hit when the Chinese government extended the Lunar New Year to clamp down on the spread of the disease. While the corporation’s suppliers and production partners have now resumed work, its inventory is below the demand level.
iPhone assembler Foxconn recently reported it’s currently at 50 percent production capacity. However, the Taiwanese-based manufacturing corporation intends to resume its regular output rate by the end of March.
Indeed, the firm has reportedly experienced iPhone 11 and iPad Pro shortages in Europe and Australia.
Now, Apple’s supply problems have bled into its customer service operations. The firm told its store staffers its replacement iPhones shortage could last up to a month. Moreover, the corporation authorized its retail employees to offer mailing owners their replacement devices and to provide temporary loaner smartphones.
Furthermore, Bloomberg stated Apple Geniuses had noticed a shortage of certain iPhone parts. While that problem could be coronavirus related, it might also be the result of the company’s recent decision to expand its repair services.
COVID-19’s Wider Impact on Apple
The coronavirus’s impact on Apple extends beyond just its supply chain.
For instance, the Silicon Valley giant had to temporarily shutter all 42 of its Sino retail locations due to the viral outbreak. As of this writing, the conglomerate has reopened 38 of the stores it maintains in the region.
In the wake of the epidemic, the corporation issued restrictions regarding employee travel to China, Italy, and South Korea. The COVID-19 virus began in China and spread to Italy, with South Korea having recently experienced surging infection rates. Currently, the firm’s staffers can only travel to those regions for business-critical matters. Even then, the conglomerate requires its workers to receive transport approval from a corporate vice president.
Apple has also advised its team members to cancel or postpone business trips if possible. The corporation recommends its employees conduct virtual meetings whenever possible.
In addition, the corporation instituted deep cleaning protocols to help stop the spread of COVID-19 within its offices and stores. The company also posted a memo instructing ill staffers to go on sick leave and recover fully before returning to work.