Coronavirus continues to plague Apple beyond component shortages and production delays. In an interesting twist, Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak said on Twitter that he and his wife might have been one of the first people in the United States to have coronavirus.
Wozniak explained that his wife developed a bad cough in early January, right after the pair returned from a trip to China. They are being examined at Santa Clara’s West Coast Sports Institute.
On a less personal note, Apple continues to wrestle with the effects of the coronavirus on the supply chain.
Over the weekend, camera module supplier LG Innotek shut down a production facility because one worker contracted the coronavirus. The effected factory is located near Daegu, which is a hotbed for the Coronavirus in South Korea. The LG Innotek plant will remain closed through Monday for disinfection, according to the Reuters report.
LG Innotek not only supplies camera modules for existing iPhone models, but the company likely is providing modules for the rumored iPhone 12. A short-term shutdown probably won’t hurt the production supply, but this situation could change rapidly. A more prolonged shutdown is possible if additional workers become infected with the virus.
As a result of the coronavirus epidemic, Apple’s iPhone production will remain slow until the 2nd quarter of 2020 claims Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a recent research note.
To stave off shortages, Apple is reportedly diversifying its supply chain, says Kuo. The Cupertino company reportedly is tapping new suppliers and not relying solely on key players like Taiwan’s Yujingguang, which manufactures iPhone camera modules.
Despite these setbacks due to the coronavirus, Kuo still believes Apple will launch the iPhone 9/SE 2 in the first half of 2020.