Apple Product Availability Improving as Supply Chain Partners See Production Return to Normal

The availability of Apple products is reported to be improving, indicating that Apple supply chain partners in China are seeing production return to normal output, following a lengthy shutdown due to the coronavirus shutdown.

According to a new report by Loup Ventures‘ Gene Munster, Apple’s iPhone and AirPods are seeing improved availability. Specifically, the report tracked the availability of the 64GB iPhone 11, 64GB iPhone 11 Pro, AirPods Pro, and the second-generation AirPods. The report states that, after looking at supply across thirteen countries, availability has significantly improved over the last two weeks.

The report states the Apple has been able to reduce its iPhone 11 shipping time to two days on average, down from 6.7 days recorded on March 4. Similarly, the shipment time for AirPods has dropped from 10.6 days to 7.4 days on average.

Munster says that while he is unable to directly link the availability improvements to increased supply, he believes the shortened lead times can be attributed to Chinese production lines restarting. Softening of demand could account for a “minority” of the increase in available stock, says Munster.

“In the case of the supply of Apple products over the past month, the key variable was the closure of manufacturing and assembly in China,” Munster writes. “In the days following Apple’s announcement that the March quarter would be below expectations on February 17, we saw lead times extend. In the days following reports of the restart of manufacturing in China, we’ve seen lead times to improve.”

As China restarts production combined with worldwide Apple Retail Store closings (outside of Greater China), it makes perfect sense to see improved supplies of key products. As Munster writes, it’s impossible to know if either increased production or softening demand is contributing more to the supply improvements, but it’s likely a combination of the two.