Although the Coronavirus is affecting the production of Apple’s iPad, it is also reportedly giving a boost to sales of Apple’s popular tablet.
DigiTimes says that as folks that folks staying home from work and school is increasing the demand for iPads, and reports that there is even some mild price-gouging going on.
Tablets demand in the China market is picking up inadvertently in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that is fueling needs for remote work and learning, but their ODMs’ production are being impacted by shortages of raw materials, components and labor.
To prevent the spread of the virus, many office workers in China have been working from home. Numerous schools have also launched online teaching courses for students staying at home, stoking demand for tablets during the usually slow season for the device.
E-commerce platforms are now the main conduit for consumers to buy tablets as most physical stores can hardly resume normal operations, but as tablets have sold out on many of these online shopping platforms, their prices have also gone up.
The platforms now sell 32GB and 128GB 10.2-inch iPad devices at CNY2,499 (US$355.5) and CNY3,099 per unit, respectively, CNY200 and CNY100 higher than offered at Apple stores for corresponding models.
Production of the iPad is handled by both Compal (which produces most of the lower-end iPad models), and Foxconn, which assembles the iPad Pro lineup. Both plants are located in Chengdu, and production at both plants is estimated to be running at around 30% of capacity.
Apple suppliers are ramping up production outside of China, in an effort to make up for lost production caused by the Coronavirus. Foxconn says it has begun working on expansion plans for plants outside of China. Such a move is likely to be beneficial to Apple beyond the Coronavirus outbreak, reducing Apple’s reliance on a single country as a production point.
Apple recently announced an update to its financial guidance for the March quarter, revealing that the firm will not meet its previously announced revenue goals due to the impact of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak. However, that announcement has not seemed to rattle analysts and investors, who believe Apple will make up any lost income from Q2 during Q3.
The World Health Organization’s most recent report on the Coronavirus outbreak says that there were 1,017 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, and 103 new deaths. That takes the totals for the outbreak to 78,811 infected and 2,462 deaths. While the report indicates the outbreak could be slowing, there have been significant outbreaks recently in Italy and Iran.