How Can Coronavirus Affect iPhone Production?

If you are an avid fan of the iPhone, then you should know that the coronavirus pandemic that’s going on now could possibly disrupt Apple’s supply chain. You’re probably aware that iPhones are made in China. With the threat of the coronavirus spreading, most cities in China have been locked down.

And now that employees can’t show up for work, how can they manufacture your beloved smartphones?

How will Apple deal with the threat of disrupting the global supply chain distribution as a result of this highly infectious virus?

Complex Supply Chain

China’s supply chain of technology is very complex. The chain consists of facilities located in the country’s major technology cities. This includes Beijing, the country’s capital city. It also includes Shanghai, which is considered the country’s financial capital. Other major cities that are part of the complex supply chain are Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Shenzhen, which is located in Southern China’s Guangdong province.

Given the overwhelming demand for Chinese made products, other emerging tech cities in the country have also made significant investments in this tech chain supply. These cities include Xian, Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Chengdu, and Wuhan, which is the epicenter of the coronavirus. Located in the province of Hubei, Wuhan has become famous in recent weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus Origin

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The 2019-nCoV, or the Novel Coronavirus originates in Wuhan, a big city located in China’s Hubei province. Named for its distinct shape when examined in a microscope, the Novel Coronavirus could have its origin in the large seafood market in Wuhan. People there sell wild animals including bats and snakes.

The virus has spread very rapidly. It’s considered similar to the SARS outbreak that took place in February 2003.

In the past few months, the virus spread rapidly around the world. To date, the virus has spread to dozens of countries and has infected more than 20,000 people. It has already resulted in over 500 fatalities.

In just a few weeks, the virus has infected more people than the previous SARS virus did. Experts believe that the number of infected patients and deaths could increase over the next few days. Most of those who have caught the virus come from Wuhan. In the province of Hubei, there are already more than 6,000 cases of patients who have tested positive about the virus.

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Longer Incubation Period

So, why is Coronavirus spreading so quickly and why is it infecting many more people than the SARS virus? First of all, the virus has a longer incubation period. This means that infected people can stay for a long time without showing any symptoms.

In addition, China’s transportation system has been significantly upgraded over the past years. It has made possible improved mobility for the Chinese people. This has also resulted in the rapid spread of the virus.

The CDC has been working with China to fight the pandemic. They are in the process of developing a vaccine that could effectively cure the virus. But the vaccine might not be available for testing until spring and might be deployed in summer. Before then, more and more people could be infected.

Disruption of the Technology Supply Chain

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It’s not hard to see that China’s technology supply chain could be disrupted as a result of this pandemic. But even if they stop the virus without causing a significant number of deaths, these illnesses that mostly come from China could go on for many years to come.

That’s because of the country’s continued use of wet markets and consumption of wild animals. Sure, they might find a cure for coronavirus. But there might soon be another virus that could come out if the Chinese continue to patronize these wet markets.

Given the increasing demand for consumer electronics all over the world, manufacturing plants must implement a concrete plan in order to stop these illnesses that could affect the technology supply chain.

Aside from resorting to automation and robotics, another effective solution would be to move some parts of the manufacturing industry outside the country. Although it may be difficult to relocate the most significant aspect of manufacturing, especially the semiconductors, other aspects like the final assembly of the products can be moved to Brazil, Mexico, and other countries in Latin America.

Some Chinese companies are actually considering doing this from a business perspective. But this could be a more challenging move for them than ending the wet markets or opting for automation and robotics.

What do you think of Coronavirus? Let us know in the comments below!

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