Gene Munster, an analyst at Loup Ventures, released a report that the recent improvement in Apple’s key product supply means that after the closure of operations due to a new coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, Chinese suppliers’ capacity is nearing normalization. Munster said that in the past two weeks, the supply of four key Apple products has improved significantly in 13 countries. Those products include the 64 GB iPhone 11, 64 GB iPhone 11 Pro, AirPods Pro, and second-generation AirPods. Loup Ventures has been tracking the supply of Apple products since mid-February.
Specifically, the iPhone’s average shipping time now is two days. It is lower than the 6.7-day peak set on March 4. Similarly, AirPods shipment time has dropped from 10.6 days on March 4 to an average of 7.4 days. Munster was unable to clearly link these changes to increased supply. But he believes that the reduction in delivery times has been largely driven by China’s restart of production.
How Outbreak Affected Apple’s Supply Chain?
Munster wrote: ‘In the case of the supply of Apple products over the past month, the key variable was the closure of manufacturing and assembly in China ... In the days following Apple’s announcement that the March quarter would be below expectations on February 17, we saw lead times extend. In the days following reports of the restart of manufacturing in China, we’ve seen lead times to improve.’
This year, in mid-February, Foxconn planned to restart production and restore production capacity to 50% by the end of February. By March 12, Foxconn had resumed normal operations, a few weeks ahead of schedule.
Apple is still responding to the effects of the new coronavirus epidemic, closing all retail stores outside Greater China this week to minimize the spread of the virus. The company was also forced to adjust the way the annual global developer conference is held. And it announced last week that the event would be held entirely online.