AirPods parts makers ramp up production despite coronavirus


They AirPods Pro fit in their case like nothing ever happened.
Apple literally can't make AirPods fast enough.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Production of some AirPods components has managed to stay at normal levels despite the COVID-19 virus causing problems with Apple’s supply chain and stores in China.

AirPods Pro supplies were constrained months before the coronavirus outbreak in China. Tim Cook told investors that he couldn’t predict when production would finally catch up, but a new report gives some encouraging signs that things could get back to normal soon.

Digitimes reports that Taiwan-based manufacturers of the rigid-flex boards used in AirPods have kept up with demand. Whether or not that will translate into a fix for AirPods supply issues depends on assembly plants in China downstream in the production pipeline.

AirPod production bottlenecks

Unitech has managed to maintain the majority of its production in Taiwan. Compeq Manufacturing is also back to operating at normal production levels with plants operating in Huizhou in Guangdong province and in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing.

The companies are reportedly worried that revenues from the first quarter of 2020 could be affected though if assembly plants to don’t get back to full operation soon. Luxshare Precision, Goertek and Inventec Appliances are operating at 50% capacity, which is higher than other product lines.

Assemblers kept a larger workforce than usual during the Lunar New Year holiday to keep lines humming and fulfill orders for Apple. As long as the COVID-19 virus doesn’t shut down shipping lines, component supplies should stay stable.