| New Delhi |
Updated: March 8, 2020 5:24:05 pm
If you are a tech company, there is no side-stepping the impact of the coronavirus on every part of your business. A lot of this comes from the fact that the biggest tech companies in the world all are so heavily dependent on China for its manufacturing and supplies. Apple is no different.
In fact, Apple was among the first companies to say coronavirus is affecting its business with both manufacturing and supply chains affected in China. It even shut all Apple stores across the country — it has shut stores in Italy too. Mid-February, the company told investors the epidemic is going to have an impact on its revenue in the quarter with iPhone supplies being impacted along with actual sales in China.
So far, the impact has not trickled down to India. However, if the situation prolongs there is a possibility that some models of the iPhone could go out of stock. To Apple’s advantage is the fact that the iPhone XR and iPhone 7, the more popular models in India, are now manufactured locally. However, even those could be impacted if component supplies dry up. For now it seems China is recovering, but slowly.
The coronavirus impact could also end delaying product launches this year. From the so-called more affordable iPhone SE2 to Macs and MacBooks, a lot of products could be delayed this year. It helps Apple’s cause that is does not really give a date to launches, other than the September event.
However, there are already calls to call off the annual World Wide Developer Conference in San Jose. This could really throw a spanner in the works, as WWDC in June is where Apple tells its developers what to expect and how to prepare for coming products and iOS updates. You could be looking at the entire ecosystem being affected by COVID-19.
With most of the tech industry under the weather thanks to coronavirus, there will be increasing clamour from all quarters to reduce everyone’s dependence on China for manufacturing. Apple has already been under pressure over this for a few years now. While it has moved some production back to the US and countries like India and Brazil, there will now be more calls to ramp up on Plan B as China is not really going as per plan for Cupertino.
While there is an immediate impact of the coronavirus on brands across countries, it now seems the virus is going to leave a lasting impact on the tech industry as a whole.
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