February 7, 2020
Apple is struggling to catch a break from coronavirus.
China had suggested that factories and stores could return to business-as-usual by Monday, but it increasingly looks like things may not play out that way for the iPhone maker.
- The factories of the major Apple manufacturer Foxconn are due to resume production Monday. But Bloomberg reports that Foxconn has told employees at its Shenzhen facility not to return then.
- As production of components has ground to a halt across China, Apple could face difficulty getting hold of them even once factories reopen. The companies that make Apple's AirPods, for instance, reportedly have just two weeks' worth of components remaining, according to Nikkei Asian Review, which adds that they must now "wait for component makers across China to restart operations in order to receive fresh supplies."
- And a memo seen by MacGeneration also says that Apple will reopen retail stores in China "at a date that will be determined next week," suggesting a Monday reopening is unlikely.
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, The Wall Street Journal cites analyst forecasts of 5 to 10% lower iPhone shipments this quarter, and suggests that a new, lower-cost iPhone — scheduled to ship in March — may be delayed.
- Read more: "Why coronavirus is a dire threat to supply chains."