Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported today that the iPad Pro model is currently available in limited quantities in Apple stores in the U.S., Australia and major european cities across Europe. Of these, 512GB of noncellular 12.9-inch iPad Pros in all Apple stores in the Los Angeles area are sold out, while many Stores in New York City have sold out of the same model and other versions of macBooks.
Some Apple store employees said they began to notice a drop in inventory for the iPad Pro last week. Mark Gurman first speculated that the supply crunch could have been caused by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Apple’s manufacturing supply chain, but he acknowledged that the shortfall could be due to Apple’s upcoming launch of the new iPad Pro, which sometimes slows down the process of entering its various sales channels as the next generation of models is introduced.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at Apple, expects the company to release an upgraded version of the iPad Pro this month. He said Apple plans to release a next-generation model with backward flight time (ToF) and a camera system that supports the 3D-inducted immersive augmented reality experience.
Apple has recently been rumoured to be planning an event on Tuesday, March 31, so if the new iPad Pro goes into service in the first half of 2020, it is likely to be announced. However, shipments of the new iPad Pro may still be limited or delayed due to a reduced production speed caused by a coronavirus outbreak. A report by DigiTimes last month said shipments of the new iPad Pro were slow as the Lunar New Year holiday extended, but the Taiwanese website insisted the new device was expected to be available around March.
In addition to the new iPad Pro, Apple is rumoured to be planning to unveil a new low-cost iPhone and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro. Apple recently said it could not meet its results due to the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus, citing a lack of supply of iPhones worldwide and reduced demand for Apple products from Chinese customers.