Coronavirus Outbreak to Continue Impacting Apple's iPhone Production Into April

Ongoing delays from the coronavirus outbreak in China will likely cause Apple to miss its schedule for mass producing the low-cost iPhone, and inventories of existing models could remain low until April or longer, according to new information shared today by Japanese site Nikkei.

‌iPhone‌ suppliers, on average, are said to be operating at 30 to 50 percent capacity at the current time, and to ramp up to full production, hurdles that include labor shortages and transportation logistics need to be overcome.

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Apple was planning to begin mass production on the upcoming low-cost ‌iPhone‌ in February, but sources that spoke to Nikkei said that meeting that target is "very challenging" and production could be delayed until March.

Current rumors have suggested Apple plans to unveil the new ‌iPhone‌ at an event that's set to take place in March, perhaps on March 31, with Apple then releasing the device on April 3. Though there are issues with production, multiple sources have said the new ‌iPhone‌ is still going to launch on time.

"The suppliers are doing their best to produce and ship the [cheaper] ‌iPhone‌ within four weeks. ...The delay can't be too long, otherwise it will affect the sales strategy of Apple's new products in the second half of this year," one of the people, who has direct knowledge of the matter, told Nikkei.

Apple was hoping to have its suppliers produce 80 million ‌iPhone‌ units in the first half of 2020, including 15 million low-cost iPhones, but the company's production plan is now uncertain. Apple yesterday said that it will not meet its revenue goals for the March quarter due to constrained ‌iPhone‌ supplies and low customer demand for Apple products in China amid the outbreak.

Factories in China are counting on having more employees back at work as soon as next Monday, when a quarantine period for those who returned from outside provinces will end. Travel logistics are said to be a "major headache" at the current time, as suppliers need to change truck drivers when crossing provincial borders due to quarantine requirements.

The coronavirus has infected more than 73,000 people, and there have been 1,870 deaths, primarily in China.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2020
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

I7guy Avatar
12 months ago


How will folks cope in the face of not getting their new phone on time? Oh, the tragedy.

Perhaps people should focus on the human suffering and potential for much worse down the road and forget about their tech toys.

Discussing how this impacts business is perfectly legitimate.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glockworkorange Avatar
12 months ago
Let's worry less about phones and Apple bauble's and think more about the victims.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Northern Man Avatar
12 months ago
How will folks cope in the face of not getting their new phone on time? Oh, the tragedy.

Perhaps people should focus on the human suffering and potential for much worse down the road and forget about their tech toys.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orthorim Avatar
12 months ago


Let's worry less about phones and Apple bauble's and think more about the victims.

Influenza infected millions and killed tens of thousands world wide...

Let's face it the only reason everyone's worried is because mass media is telling them to. I know this is something you would never ever want to admit - you're a free thinker!

But the truth is, more people die from car accidents and falling over when getting out of bed each year - especially in the age bracket of covir victims!

People suffer from the most unreasonable fears - 1.25 million people die every year in car crashes. Yet everyone continues to drive their cars.

Corona kills 2k people - alright admittedly, i would rather have all these people still with us and alive and healthy - but it's no reason to panic.

In other words if you're panicing about 2k corona deaths, please never look at traffic statistics because you'll get a heart attack. And 647,000 Americans die of that each year, wouldn't want you to be one of them ;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Michael Scrip Avatar
12 months ago
I know this is an Apple-focused site... but aren't most smartphones made in China? And other products in general?

I'm curious to know how other manufacturers will be affected by the virus.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
allapple Avatar
12 months ago
Is customs going to check the phones for the virus? who knows who's handling what and if the virus can attach itself to the phone, the box, the wrapping.....? No thank you!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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