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Coronavirus chaos – iPhone in further jeopardy

Another day, another barrage of reports on how the COVID-19 virus will affect Apple going forward. There’s almost too much to absorb, so we’ll try to give a brief overview of all the most important stories we could find – click through any of the links for more detailed reports.

Of course, if you’ve been keeping tabs on Coronavirus news, you’ll know that already Apple has significantly lowered its earnings targets for the quarter. Smart move, as iPhone sales dropped 60% year-over-year in China last month. That’s less than half a million handsets sold compared to 1.27 million in February 2019.

But it’s not just demand that’s an issue – with much of iPhone’s production line housed in China, manufacture has been hit too. Multiple analysts have suggested Apple could push back new product launches by up to two months to compensate for the supply chain delays. It’s not just upcoming devices but existing ones, too – Apple has already warned retail staff that shortages of replacement devices could last several weeks, with repair parts in short supply too. And other retailers have started reporting that supplies of all three iPhone 11 models are starting to dwindle. If you’re on the hunt for a new iPhone, best grab one soon.

Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook has allowed employees worldwide to work from home if possible. “Please feel free to work remotely if your job allows,” were his exact words. Beyond that, Apple employees are currently banned from visiting high-risk areas, which in turn is causing delays in testing components for the upcoming iPhone 12 – yet another reason we might see the iPhone 12 launch later than usual this year.

Oh, and of course there’s also the concern that Apple won’t even be able to host its worldwide developers conference (WWDC) this year. That could have knock-on effects to iOS 14.

Nobody really knows what to expect over the next few weeks and months where Coronovirus is concerned, but it’s clear that the pandemic has already caused plenty of problems for Apple. As for what you can do personally? Everyone is talking about washing your hands, but it’s less common to hear people talking about washing your iPhone – despite the fact it can harbor all kinds of germs. Here’s how to disinfect your device safely.