Coronavirus might make new iPhones hard to find

Snooze now, and you could be in for a long wait.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

It seems that the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is having a colossal effect on Apple's supply chain, with the company warning staff that replacement parts for warranty work, as well as replacement handsets, could see delays of as much as two to four weeks.

There are also rumors that coronavirus could see Apple delay the launch of the 2020 iPhone 12 by as much as a month because of supply chain issues and weakened demand.

But supply chain disturbances also mean another problem -- iPhone shortages.

Yes, iPhones are in short supply. I've been watching iPhone availability, both in the US and the UK, over the past few weeks and have noticed that delivery dates timescales have increased and, notably, that availability is dependent on model, capacity, and color. Some model/color/capacity variants are more prolific than others.

And, if the coronavirus disruption continues, it's just going to get worse.

So, if you're holding out for a new iPhone, now may be the time to buy. Things are, unfortunately, likely to get worse before they get better.

And if the iPhone 12 ends up being released on schedule this fall, you can sell your iPhone for far more than an Android handset if you decided to upgrade.

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Same advice goes if you're holding back on having a repair done. I've heard from two Apple repair shops that replacement displays for the newer iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro handsets are already starting to dry out, and soon those looking for even a basic repair could be waiting days, if not weeks, for parts.

I know it's a first-world problem, but consider how much of a dent in your productivity would not having your iPhone for several weeks be.

It may also be a good time to pick up a case for your iPhone -- prevention is better, and quicker, than cure.

Another product that seems affected is the AirPods Pro. These have been scarce since release, and disruptions in China have not made things better. Oh, and don't lose an earbud, as you could be listening in mono for a while. One reader claimed that she waited almost a month for a replacement AirPod Pro earbud.

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