Apple has been trying to boost production of the popular AirPods and AirPods Pro, but its hopes may have been broken by a new coronavirus outbreak in China,media reported. It is understood that Apple’s main suppliers of AirPods Luxshare-ICT, Goerteck and Inventec have all been shut down since the start of the Lunar New Year and plans to start again next Monday will be dashed. Components are likely to be short due to the closure of factories across China due to the outbreak.
AirPods manufacturers will only “up” have to support two weeks of Assembly and new supply of AirPods, and they will have to wait for the Chinese plant to return to work. However, given the current situation, when AirPods production resumes, the utilization rate of the product can reach 50%.
One person interviewed by Nikkei said it was unclear whether Chinese parts suppliers would be able to resume production smoothly, “and we have to wait and see what happens next week.” If the assembler doesn’t get enough parts in two weeks, that’s a big problem.
Travel restrictions in some parts of China could lead to a shortage of factory labor, and companies are balancing production with concerns that workers may bring the virus back to the plant. Foxconn, for example, has said workers returning from Henan will be quarantined for two weeks and the rest for a week.
Apple aims to produce 45 million sets of AirPods in the first half of 2020, but is currently in short supply and is reserved for Apple’s official retail stores.