Apple is reportedly warning employees at its retail stores about the shortage of replacement iPhone units due to the coronavirus outbreak. A report has said that Apple has told its technical support staff at stores that replacement iPhones for heavily damaged units will be short for about two to four weeks. This development comes amid an already-bleeding tech industry, which is reported to have seen billions of dollars in losses due to the COVID-19 disease. Apple seems one of the worst-hit amid the tech giants, as it not only the company sources components from China, Hong Kong, and Italy – the three worst hit countries, about 15 percent of its revenue comes from China itself.
The report from Bloomberg cites a memo to the company's 'Geniuses,' as the retail employees are called at Apple. It tells them that they can offer to mail replacement iPhones to customer units and provide loaner units to ease the delays.
The publication also quotes anonymous employees as saying that Apple stores have noticed a shortage of individual parts like the screen or camera, which are used for repairs. The report also mentions that an Apple spokesperson did not respond to requests for a comment.
The news channel in a separate report claims that Apple has begun to see shortage in the iPad Pro and the iPhone 11 stocks as well. Apple's supplier Foxconn had also recently warned that its revenue would drop 15 percent due to coronavirus. It, however, said that it will resume normal production by the end of this month, after halting production amid the outbreak in China.
Apple had already warned of a shortage in iPhone stocks and said that its unlikely that the company will meet its revenue guidance.
The coronavirus outbreak has hit Apple more than any other tech giant, since not only the company sources components for its devices from China, Hong Kong, and Italy, China itself accounts for about 15 percent of Apple's revenue. Further, Apple also counts Korean giants LG and Samsung as its suppliers and sources its chips from a factory in Italy - the third-worst hit country after China and South Korea.
Last month, CEO Tim Cook said that the company has reopened 80 percent of its stores in China and that Apple is closely watching the virus outbreak.
It was also reported that Apple's next generation of phone, the iPhone 12 launch might also be delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.