Apple has recently warned its retail store technical staff that replacement iPhones are in short supply, due to the coronavirus. Some stores are also facing a shortage of individual parts used for device repairs.
Bloomberg reports replacement iPhones designated to replace heavily damaged devices are expected to see a constrained supply for two to four weeks. Apple Store employees have been told that they can mail replacement iPhones to customers and provide loaner devices to ease wait times.
Although Apple did not provide employees with specific details as to the cause of the shortage, the supply shortages are likely linked to production delays caused by the coronavirus. Retail employees told Bloomberg that some retail stores were also facing a shortage of individual components used for repairs.
Multiple Apple component suppliers and assembly partners, including Foxconn and Pegatron, were forced to shut down for two weeks or more back in February due to the coronavirus outbreak. While factories are back up and running, production is still ramping up and has not yet returned to normal levels due to labor shortages, travel restrictions, and other issues.
Apple’s main iPhone assembly partner, Foxconn, expects to see production in its Chinese plants return to normal levels by the end of March. Some Apple products, including the Mac Pro and the iPad Pro, are beginning to experience supply shortages.