With the deadly Coronavirus that originated in the Wuhan province of China already claiming 106 lives as of a few hours ago, industry reports are talking about the impact this could have on Apple’s production line, particularly the yet to be launched iPhone 9, known initially as the iPhone SE 2, as well as the 2nd gen AirPods and the in-demand AirPods Pro.
As per a report by the Nikkei Asian Review, the virus has already spread to two regions which is host to Apple’s large production centers – Henan and Guangdong Provinces. These centers are located close to the Hubei Province which has so far seen more than 100 confirmed cases of Coronavirus.
Foreseeing issues with supply chain, Apple uses a dual sourcing system which means it can get the same components from two sources, allowing more flexibility in times of crisis such as this. So the iPhone 9 should continue to go into production in February through Apple’s alternative sources, with a launch expected in March.
The phone is expected to pack hardware similar to the iPhone 8, including the Touch ID sensor while providing the processing power of the iPhone 11 family courtesy of the Apple A13 chipset.
Given that the iPhone 9 is expected to borrow most of its external hardware from the iPhone 8, it is expected that the iPhone 8 will officially go out of circulation this year, although it should be on course to receive the iOS 14 update in Fall this year as per a recent report.
The extent of the virus is not known and there’s currently no vaccine or treatment suggested by the CDC. In the meantime, it is recommended to follow the CDC’s guidelines for preventative care and steps to take in the event of contracting the virus.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review, Bloomberg (paid)
Via: GSM Arena