Apple has ordered the production of 45 million AirPods units to keep up with consumer demand, but the coronavirus in China could create problems both with regard to new shifts to cope with the increase in production and the lack of materials.
With the virus continuing to spread to mainland China, Apple suppliers report that they don't have enough material or manpower to assemble the products.
The three main factories that work on AirPods have stopped most of their production since the start of the lunar new year on January 25th. The Japanese newspaper Nikkei reports that the three companies in question have materials and components for only two weeks of AirPods production. Since the activities of the manufacturers of various components are stopped, they have to wait for new parts.
Apple is fueling the current AirPods distribution channels available for the online store and stores. The old AirPods are available in stock but for AirPods Pro the need to wait one month for shipping is indicated.
The wearable market (which includes AirPods and Apple Watch) has grown enormously for Apple. In the presentation of the data relating to the financial results of the first fiscal quarter 2020, closed on 28 December 2019, the CEO Tim Cook announced the highest quarterly turnover ever achieved by Apple, fueled, among other things, by the high demand of our iPhone models 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, and from the record ever for Services and wearables.
Apple has meanwhile announced that the Chinese Apple Stores will be closed until February 9th. Mela, who has 42 stores in China, explains that the decision comes following public health and prevention considerations related to coronavirus. Apple offices and Chinese support centers will also be closed until the same date.
No problems are expected for the new iPhone 2020 range coming in the autumn, but mandatory coronaviruses and stops could cause problems and possible delays for iPhone 9, the economic terminal that Apple could present already in March.