Apple Warns Retail Workers Of iPhone Supply Shortages
Apple has warned its retail staff the company is facing shortages of replacement iPhones, according to a Bloomberg report.
Retail employees received an email notifying them that the devices, used to replace consumers’ iPhones when they’re too damaged for an easy fix, will be in limited supply over the next several weeks.
Employees at several stores also told the publication that they were running low on some individual replacement parts.
It comes after credible Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, reported this week that Apple only had around one months’ worth of lens inventory.
Instead, retail staff were instructed to offer customers loaner devices or mail out replacement devices as soon as they become available, Bloomberg reports.
Apple’s internal note is the latest sign that the coronavirus outbreak is having significant material impacts on its global business – and the first times Apple customers will be directly impacted by the situation.
Apple closed all 42 of its retail store locations across China in early February as the number of coronavirus infections soared in the region.
The tech giant’s supply chain, which is heavily reliant on Foxconn factories across China’s manufacturing districts, has also been strained following the temporary forced closures of many of those factories. Foxconn has since announced its factories are now working at half the capacity it usually operates at since restarting production.
Following the closures, Apple warned investors it did not expect to meet revenue goals for the first quarter, which it attributed to supply issue and a decline in sales in China due to the virus.
Apple, alongside many other global companies, restricted employee travel to China, Italy and South Korea as well as implemented additional hygiene measures to keep its retail stores clean. These included placing hand sanitisation stations at the front of every retail store for customers to use and mandatory bench wipe downs.
The coronavirus has killed more than 3,200 people across the world, but mostly in China, and has infected more than 95,000.
It has spread to every province and region in China as well as at least 80 other countries, including Australia.
The outbreak has also had considerable impact on the stock market as companies’ global supply chains and operations face disruptions.
Apple has declined to provide a comment.