iPhone replacements are in short supply due to the coronavirus impacting Apple's overseas operations, the company warned retail employees.
According to Bloomberg, Apple Store employees said the technical associates (a.k.a. Geniuses) were advised that replacements for damaged iPhones will be in sparse for up to four weeks. The memo sent to them suggested they provide loaner devices until a mail replacement order can be fulfilled amid delays.
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If a device is brought in to the Genius bar and deemed beyond repair, Apple usually provides a refurbished replacement iPhone rather than a new model right out of the box.
However, the company often tries to replace individual parts. For example, if the screen is cracked or one of the volume button broken, there's no need for an entirely new iPhone.
But Apple employees told Bloomberg these separate parts are also low in stock and have noticed the effect of the shortage in stores.
The coronavirus has hit Apple particularly hard the last few weeks. There are signs of improving conditions, though. Nearly all the Apple Store locations in China have reopened as of this writing, and it's confirmed the factory making the iPhone 9 is back to work.
It's too soon to say whether the iPhone 9 launch is on schedule. We previously believed Apple planned to unveil the budget iPhone later this month.