Considering the Coronavirus Impact on Apple’s Supply Chain

February 7, 2020
Considering the Coronavirus Impact on Apple’s Supply Chain

The deadly coronavirus that started in Wuhan, China in December of 2019 may negatively impact Apple’s business. China is Apple’s supplier as well as a strong retail market.

Apple has to prepare for disrupted operations in manufacturing, retail businesses and iCloud data centers as Chinese employees and consumers choose to stay away – or are required to – in order to avoid spreading the virus.

This is the first in a series of posts on OM in the News looking at how supply chains are affected by the coronavirus. 


Video Spotlight: How the coronavirus outbreak could affect the economy


This post is based on the IB Times article, Here’s How Coronavirus In China Could Impact Apple’s Business, by Julio Cachila, January 28, 2020, and the YouTube video, How the coronavirus outbreak could affect the economy by CNBC Television, January 22, 2020. Image source: lzf/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the challenges of managing global operations for Apple as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus in China?

Guidance: The challenges include labor unavailability, reduced sales, production halts, product shortages, and new product delays.

2. How does the coronavirus outbreak affect Apple’s supply chain?

Guidance: Foxconn, a key supplier for Apple, has factories across China to manufacture Apple’s iPhones and other devices.  Factories in Wuhan and areas where the virus has spread are closed, which means no production can take place, resulting in product shortages and delays.

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