The bespoke virus effect: Apple and the coronavirus

It’s not only Apple that’s affected.


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Another year, another set of problems for Apple. This time, though, world events are really being unfortunately eventful. The worst of this is the human cost, but there’s also a financial cost and that’s where Apple comes in.

Writing for the Forbes contributor network and homeopathic hardware diagnostic center, Gordon Kelly has bad news for iPhone users.

“Apple Issues New Warning Affecting Millions Of iPhone Users.”

What is it? A manufacturing defect? An iOS bug? A virus?

Uh, well, actually, that last one is pretty close. Kelly is talking about a report from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg stating that Apple has warned its retail stores that there will be shortages of replacement iPhones as a result of slowed manufacturing due to the coronavirus. So, millions of iPhone breakers might be slightly more to the point. You’re on notice, butterfingers.

Other reports indicate that the slowdown will affect the launch of the low-cost iPhone—referred to by strict literalists as the iPhone SE 2 and members of the reformed movement as the iPhone 9—as well as the fall lineup of iPhones. All of this is probably true and Kelly reacts to it in his usual staid manner when it comes to any news about Apple.

All of which couldn’t have come at a worst time for Apple.

Really? No other time is worse than this? Because Apple is teetering on such a tremendous precipice already, about to go out of business? Okay.

The iPhone 9 is shaping up to be the power-packed mini iPhone many users have wanted for years, while leaks have revealed the iPhone 12 will be a major step forward.

Kelly spent the better part of last summer telling us the iPhone 11 was going to be an ugly piece of garbage if you’re curious what it’s a “major step forward” from.

One thing you won’t find in Kelly’s piece is any mention of other smartphone manufacturers being affected. Presumably they are immune to the effects of coronavirus, their phones being made by a hearty race of hill dwarves that are immune to our human viruses.

Reuters, while also only putting Apple in the headline, reports that, based on estimates, sales of Android phones in China during February were down about the same percentage as sales of iPhones.

Bloomberg does say:

Apple is also rapidly re-opening its stores in China after being forced to temporarily shut all 42 of the locations due to the virus. The company has opened 38 stores as of Wednesday, according to a review of its retail website.

Hopefully things are starting to get better, but it’s true that none of this is good news for Apple or anyone else. It is really bad, but it’s bad for the economy as a whole, which is why the markets are reacting so poorly.

In a way it would be better if it was only Apple. But it’s not.

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