Apple has re-opened all of its retail stores in China, business publication Bloomberg reports, but the company also notified its tech support workers that some products and supplies could be in short supply in the immediate future.
The company sent a memo to Genius Bar workers that replacements for damaged iPhones will be slow to arrive, taking two to four weeks in some cases. Apple employees who spoke with Bloomberg “also noticed a shortage of individual parts.”
In the meantime, Apple’s memo told tech support professionals that they can provide loaner handsets amidst the delays and offer to mail replacements to customers when they become available.
This news follows previous reports that an upcoming iPad Pro launch could be hampered or delayed due to shutdowns of factories in China and that production is moving along slowly for this year’s new iPhone models. The company has also restricted travel for its employees in response to the health crisis, and some commentators have called on Apple to cancel or virtualize its developer conference, which is expected to take place in San Jose this June.
These problems have impacted Apple’s stock price, with investors raising concerns about the company’s dependence on China, the country currently most heavily affected by the COVID-19 virus.
That said, The Wall Street Journal ran a report this week citing researchers, industry executives, and others making the case that it would be difficult if not impossible for Apple to extricate its operations from the region any time soon.
Ars readers work in a variety of professional capacities involving technology and products like these, so we’re curious to hear about your experiences. We’ve already seen some anecdotal reports of challenges, such as difficulty sourcing iMacs for new employees in a workplace, potentially due to supply shortages.
Have you faced problems getting the equipment you or others in your workplace need from major vendors whose operations are affected by the response to COVID-19? Reader stories can help us inform future coverage of this developing story, and our comment threads are open.