Apple had planned to ‘aggressively’ boost AirPods production throughout 2020 following stronger than expected demand for the wireless earphones however, the coronavirus outbreak has put those plans in jeopardy as suppliers have been forced to halt production.
Nikkei Asian Review claims AirPods manufacturers, Luxshare, Goertek, and Inventec have all stopped assembly as a result of the outbreak, adding that even though production is scheduled to restart as soon as next week, a shortage of components from other suppliers could put Apple’s production plans at risk.
The report claims Apple’s three suppliers have “two weeks’ worth of materials and components needed for AirPods assembly.”
“One of the big concerns is whether other parts suppliers in China can smoothly resume work to produce enough parts for final assembly,” the person said. “We really have to wait and see how things play out next week. If the assemblers could not get enough supply of parts in two weeks, it will be a big problem.”
Apple had supposedly asked suppliers to produce 45 million AirPods units during the first half of 2020 in order to keep up with “surging demand for the new wireless earphones.”
Reports had claimed Apple could see up to 85 million AirPods shipments in 2020, with revenue expected to double.