Apple has warned their retail employees that there may be a shortage of replacement iPhones, in yet another example of a supply chain affected by the coronavirus.
According to Bloomberg, the company recently told tech support staff that heavily damaged devices might not be able to be replaced for as long as two to four weeks, Apple Store employees have said.
The workers, known as Geniuses, were advised in a memo that they can offer to mail replacement iPhones to customers and provide loaner devices to ease delays.
Some Apple stores have also noticed a shortage of individual parts, according to the employees, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. An Apple spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. –Bloomberg
The warning applies to iPhone owners who bring in devices that are too damaged to repair in-store (beyond repair) – which are typically resolved by replacing the entire phone.
Apple’s supply chain woes extend beyond just iPhones, as the company has also experienced shortages of key components for the iPad Pro. Meanwhile, the supply of iPhone 11 models has began to tighten a bit internationally.
Apple has prohibited employees from traveling to China, South Korea and Italy, and has asked that sick employees take leave. It has also encouraged telecommuting whenever possible.
Despite the ongoing virus threat, the company has been re-opening stores in China after temporarily closing all 42 locations. As of Wedensday, 38 locations were open again according to their retail website.