Apple recently warned technical support staff at its retail stores that replacement iPhones are in short supply, reports Bloomberg.
Replacement iPhones for heavily damaged devices are expected to face supply constraints for two to four weeks. Apple Store employees have been informed that they can mail replacement iPhones to customers and provide loaner devices to ease wait times.
Apple did not provide employees with specific details as to the cause of the shortage, but the supply constraints are likely linked to production delays caused by the coronavirus. Retail employees also told Bloomberg that some stores are noticing a shortage of individual components used for device repairs.
Apple suppliers like Foxconn and Pegatron were forced to shut down for two or more weeks in February at the height of the coronavirus outbreak in China. Factories are back up and running at this time, but production has still not ramped up to normal levels due to labor shortages, travel restrictions, and other factors.
Foxconn, Apple’s main iPhone assembler, expects its plants in China to resume normal operation by the end of March. The delays are beginning to affect some product lines, with build-to-order Macs, the Mac Pro, and the iPad Pro seeing supply shortages, and it remains to be seen how new devices expected to launch early in the year will fare in terms of available supply.