Apple is shifting a portion of AirPods, iPad and Apple Watch production from China to Taiwan as the tech giant continues to deal with coronavirus-related delays in China.
The virus, called COVID-19, has forced Apple to diversity on the fly its China-reliant production model. Much of the country remains quarantined and restricted in travel, and Apple assembly and supply partners are unable to operate at full capacity.
The virus has killed more than 2,000, mostly in China, since it was first reported in January. Apple has been trying to minimize delays in production but told investors this week the company will miss March quarter revenue goals.
“It is estimated that at least one-third of China’s production lines will lay idle in the first quarter of this year, and it would be almost impossible to return to the normal level of production before the end of February,” the Taiwan News said. “It is also doubtful whether normal production could be resumed within the first ten days of March.”
Analysts predict the delays will impact the supply of current models in high demand, such as iPhones and AirPods Pro. The impact could also make it more challenging for Apple to meet the demand once it rolls out new products in the fall.