Apple Stores are running low on iPhone replacements and repair parts as COVID-19-related delays begin reaching consumers.
The tech giant informed technical support staff at its stores to expect delays of two to four weeks for replacement phones and individual parts.
News of the shortages was first reported Wednesday afternoon by Bloomberg, which interviewed unnamed Apple Store employees. The news site speculates the impact of the deadly new coronavirus on Apple’s supply chain in China is to blame for the shortages.
The coronavirus has killed more than 3,200 people and infected more than 95,000 others, mostly in China. It continues to spread to other countries, including the United States.
Replacement iPhones go to customers when technicians are unable to repair the phones. Apple told its tech support teams, according to the report, that stores can provide loaner devices and later mail a replacement to the customer when one becomes available.
Bloomberg did not specify the types of parts that are in short supply. Techs can replace screens, cameras and other components at Apple Store genius bars. Earlier this week, the news site reported limited availability of the iPad Pro in stores around the world and said “the supply of the iPhone 11 has begun to slightly tighten internationally.”
Earlier this week, LG Innotek, which makes iPhone camera modules in South Korea, closed a factory after a worker tested positive for the virus.