Apple 'warns shop staff the coronavirus has caused an iPhone shortage'

Apple 'warns shop staff the coronavirus has caused an iPhone shortage'


Apple has allegedly told its staff that iPhones are in short supply due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The tech giant reportedly warned shop employees it calls ‘Geniuses’ of a shortage of replacement devices for damaged iPhones.

Bloomberg claimed that staff were sent a memo which advised them to ‘mail replacement iPhones to customers and provide loaner devices to ease delays’.

This means that if you drop or smash a phone, it may be more difficult than usual to get a quick replacement.

It’s also been claimed that some stores are reporting a shortage of parts used to repair iPhones.

The coronavirus has now claimed more than 300 lives and infected more than 100,000 people around the world.

Apple could have difficulties ramping up production of its upcoming iPhones after the coronavirus interrupted manufacturing, a leading analyst has claimed.

Ming Chi-Kuo alleged that Chinese facilities are not working at full capacity right now and may not be able to reach peak performance until May.

The tech giant is expected to release a relatively cheap new iPhone SE2 in the first half of 2020, followed by a flagship model in September.

But the coronavirus has seen some facilities shut down temporarily and it’s not known when they will be able to start working at full capacity again.

Yesterday, LG Innoteck reportedly closed down a factory in Gumi, South Korea, which makes camera parts for the iPhone. It’s now being disinfected.

Earlier this month, Apple confirmed that the coronavirus will cause a global iPhone shortage which is likely to eat into its revenues and reduce profits.

The tech giant issued a long, frank statement which paid tribute to health workers fighting the disease but also bluntly warned of its financial impact.

Apple’s iPhone factories are located outside the Hubei Province where Wuhan, the region’s capital, is currently on lockdown as authorities battle to contain the spread of Covid-19, the official name of the deadly new coronavirus.

Apple wrote: ‘As the public health response to COVID-19 continues, our thoughts remain with the communities and individuals most deeply affected by the disease, and with those working around the clock to contain its spread and to treat the ill.

‘Apple is more than doubling our previously announced donation to support this historic public health effort.’

It has now cut its estimated profits for the year, prompting a drop in stock prices on markets across the world driven by fears that the disease will cause a global economic slump.

‘We do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter due to two main factors,’ Apple continued.

‘Worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained. While our iPhone manufacturing partner sites are located outside the Hubei province — and while all of these facilities have reopened — they are ramping up more slowly than we had anticipated.

‘The health and well-being of every person who helps make these products possible is our paramount priority, and we are working in close consultation with our suppliers and public health experts as this ramp continues. These iPhone supply shortages will temporarily affect revenues worldwide.’

Apple also said that ‘demand for our products within China has been affected’ and continued: ‘All of our stores in China and many of our partner stores have been closed.

‘Additionally, stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic. We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can. Our corporate offices and contact centres in China are open, and our online stores have remained open throughout.

‘Outside of China, customer demand across our product and service categories has been strong to date and in line with our expectations.’

It also wrote: ‘Our first priority — now and always — is the health and safety of our employees, supply chain partners, customers and the communities in which we operate. Our profound gratitude is with those on the front lines of confronting this public health emergency.’

We have written to Apple for comment.

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