Apple iPhone assembler’s factories are largely up and running, but with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic progressing around the world, the question for the company and suppliers is how much demand is there for current models and the new slate of phones expected in the fall.
A senior official at one of Apple’s major contract assemblers said Apple’s orders for the quarter ending in March are likely to drop 18% compared with the previous year. The production ramp-up for new phones that work with next-generation 5G networks has been postponed, this person said, though it is still possible the 5G phones could launch as scheduled in the fall.
“No one is talking about manpower or material shortage (in China) anymore. Now everyone is looking at whether demand from U.S. and Europe could keep up,” said the person, who has direct knowledge of the matter. “The focus now is the demand from consumers in the U.S. and Europe.”
Earlier this month, the company closed retail stores around the world even as it began to reopen outlets in China. With much of Europe and the United States on lockdown and unemployment soaring globally, there is little clarity on when demand might return.
MacDailyNews Take: The situation is beyond fluish (typo, and it’s staying). Like the rest of us, Apple and suppliers will just have to play it by ear.