iFixit teardownSource: iFixit

What you need to know

  • Apple is reportedly warning stores of iPhone shortages.
  • Anyone who needs a replacement iPhone may need to wait.
  • Shortages are due to the manufacturing issues caused by coronavirus.

Apple continues to feel the impact of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, but now it might be trickling down to users, too. A new Bloomberg report claims that Apple has told technicians that replacement iPhones will be in short supply for the foreseeable future.

According to the report, Apple has told Geniuses that anyone who breaks an iPhone and needs it to be replaced may have to wait for a device to become available. The shortage of replacement iPhones is expected to last anywhere between two and four weeks, Bloomberg reports.

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Some Geniuses have also reported that they are experiencing shortages of parts, too. That may prevent them from being able to swap out a faulty screen, battery, or other component in devices that wouldn't normally require a full replacement.

The dearth of iPhone repair parts is one of the first visible effects from the virus on Apple's operations. The company has begun to see shortages for the iPad Pro, Bloomberg News reported recently, while the supply of the iPhone 11 has begun to slightly tighten internationally. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has also restricted employee travel to China, South Korea, and Italy, and has encouraged sick employees take leave. It's also asking employees to have meetings virtually.

Apple's parts suppliers such as Foxconn have reopened their Chinese factories, but it's taking longer than anticipated to get back up to operational capacity. Once that happens it's likely these shortages will subside. Until then, I'd suggest trying really hard not to break your iPhone.