Tech giant Apple has warned its retail stores that supplies of replacement iPhones are running low as the coronavirus outbreak puts a strain on the company’s supply chain.
Bloomberg reports that Apple has warned its retail stores that replacement iPhones are in short supply as the coronavirus outbreak puts a strain on the company’s supply chain. The firm recently told technical support staff at stores that replacement iPhones for heavily damaged devices will be in short supply for between two and four weeks.
In a memo to Apple retail employees, called Apple Geniuses, the firm advised that they should offer mail replacement iPhones to customers and provide loaner devices to ease delays. Apple stores have also reported a shortage of individual parts, according to employees.
Apple workers can often replace individuals parts of damaged iPhones in-store, such as iPhone screens or cameras. If the device is too badly damaged to be repaired in-store, the company often provides a replacement refurbished phone rather than a brand new model.
Apple’s shortage of iPhone repair parts is one of the first notable effects of the coronavirus outbreak on Apple’s supply chain. The firm has begun seeing shortages in its iPad Pro supply also while the iPhone 11 supply tightens internationally. Apple has also restricted employee travel to China, South Korea, and Italy, and has encouraged sick employees to take leave from the firm.
Apple is reportedly re-opening its stores in China after being forced to shut down all 42 locations due to the virus recently. 38 of Apple’s Chinese stores were opened as of Wednesday, according to its retail website.
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