Apple has warned its retail store employees that it is facing a shortage of replacement iPhones, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
Retail staffers received an email notifying them that the devices, which are used to replace customers’ phones when they’re too badly damaged to fix easily, will be in limited supply for several weeks, according to Bloomberg. Employees at several stores also told Bloomberg they were running low on some individual replacement parts.
Workers were instructed instead to offer customers loaner devices or mail out replacement devices when they become available, Bloomberg reported.
Apple’s internal note is the latest sign that the coronavirus outbreak is having a material impact on its business, and one of the first times Apple customers will be directly affected by the situation.
Apple closed all 42 of its retail store locations in China in early February as the number of cases of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, skyrocketed within the region. The company’s supply chain, which is heavily dependent on factories in mainland China, has also been strained as many of those factories were forced to close temporarily.
Following the closures, Apple reported that it did not expect to meet its revenue goals for the quarter, which it attributed to slowed iPhone production and reduced Chinese demand resulting from the outbreak.
Apple has also, like many companies, restricted employee travel and has implemented additional measures to keep its retail stores clean, as companies take more aggressive steps to protect workers and customers.
So far, the coronavirus has killed more than 3,200 people, mostly in China, and infected more than 95,000 around the world. It has spread to every province and region in China as well as at least 80 other countries. The outbreak has already had a major impact on the stock market as companies’ global supply chains and operations face disruptions.
Apple did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.
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