According to the Nikkei Asian Review report, several sources have revealed that Apple's plan to increase AirPods production will be threatened by a new crown virus outbreak. The outbreak of the new crown virus has forced Chinese suppliers to suspend work for two weeks, and even after resuming work next Monday, there may still be a shortage of parts.
Apple previously ordered its suppliers to produce as many as 45 million wireless headsets in the first half of this year to meet growing demand. However, the source said that the current inventory of AirPods is very low, and most of the products are left to Apple's own online and offline stores. At present, according to data from Apple's official online store, ordinary AirPods are still in stock, but AirPods Pro delivery time is about one month.
Two people familiar with the matter revealed to Nikkei that since the Spring Festival holiday, Apple's three key manufacturers of AirPods: Lixun Precision, GoerTek, and Inventec have stopped most of their production. The three companies currently supply up to two weeks of materials and components needed to produce AirPods, and they must wait for component manufacturers across China to resume work before they can be supplied.
Due to the virus outbreak, manufacturers have not shipped the new AirPods series headphones for about two weeks, and all stores and operators selling Apple products are counting on suppliers to resume work next week. Like other Apple suppliers, the three AirPods makers plan to resume work next Monday, but given the current situation, their production utilization rate reached a maximum of 50% in the first week.
People familiar with the matter are concerned about whether other parts suppliers in China can resume production smoothly. If manufacturers do not get enough parts supply within two weeks, this will be a big problem.
"For the rapidly growing demand for AirPods, the outbreak of the new crown virus will only cause supply shortages, and demand will not be greatly hindered," said Jeff Pu, an analyst at GF Securities. "We and most investors expect that output may gradually increase once production is resumed. As for how fast, uncertainty remains, as it depends on whether the epidemic is under control."
Apple declined to comment, and Lixun Precision and GoerTek did not respond to requests for comment. Inventec declined to comment but said it would resume work next Monday.