If you thought the news coming from China about the coronavirus might not affect your daily life in Europe and in the Americas, think again.
Apple, the maker of the best selling augmented reality hardware on the market, the iPhone, has just revealed that the coronavirus will create a shortage of its flagship mobile device this year.
The revelation came in a note to investors published by Apple on Monday in which the iPhone maker disclosed that logistics issues around the coronavirus and efforts to contain it will seriously impact the availability of the ARKit-powered device.
"We are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated. As a result, we do not expect to meet the revenue guidance we provided for the March quarter due to two main factors," a statement from the company reads.
"Worldwide iPhone supply will be temporarily constrained. While our iPhone manufacturing partner sites are located outside the Hubei province [the epicenter of the virus outbreak] — and while all of these facilities have reopened — they are ramping up more slowly than we had anticipated."
However, the hurdles facing Apple aren't just related to production. The company is also expecting slower sales in general due to the limited consumer activity in China, which is one of its biggest revenue generators.
"All of our stores in China and many of our partner stores have been closed," reads the statement. "Additionally, stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic."
In addition to Apple, the AR hardware business and general tech industry have both experienced other issues related to the virus. Last week, Nreal, a China-based company, announced that it would miss its official launch product release as a result of the coronavirus work slowdown. Not long after, the biggest international tech conference, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, decided to cancel its annual February meeting after major players like Nvidia, Amazon, Facebook, Intel, and others pulled out due to safety concerns around the virus.
Similarly, on Monday, organizers of the Bejing Moto Show, which often features a substantial amount of cutting edge technology, announced that the show is now canceled because of the coronavirus situation.
It remains unclear just how severely the coronavirus will affect general tech hardware production, which is largely sourced in China for many of the largest Silicon Valley companies. Furthermore, since the situation is still unfolding, with no end in sight, a number of other tech conference organizers will be forced to make some tough decisions in the coming weeks and months as the virus continues to grip the global business community.
"Apple is fundamentally strong, and this disruption to our business is only temporary," Apple said in a statement. "Our first priority — now and always — is the health and safety of our employees, supply chain partners, customers and the communities in which we operate."
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