“There are still a lot of hurdles, from labor shortages to logistics transportation.” — Nikkei Asian Review
From “Apple’s iPhone supply woes to continue into April: sources” posted Wednesday:
Apple will likely miss its schedule for mass producing a more affordable iPhone, while inventories of existing models could remain low until April or longer, despite suppliers in China gradually resuming production amid the coronavirus outbreak, sources familiar with the matter told the Nikkei Asian Review…
Logistics in particular are a major headache. In some cases, suppliers must change truck drivers when crossing provincial borders due to quarantine requirements on anyone entering from another province. In other cases, they have to send staff to highway interchanges to register for deliveries in person, while drivers bringing supplies into a province must present authorization papers at border checkpoints, industry people said.
Beijing has asked local governments to facilitate the restart of production and work to stabilize the economy and growth. Premier Li Keqiang said last week that the key focus is to gradually resume production and work in a safe way, but he also stressed that local authorities are strictly prohibited from blocking transportation or closing roads to prevent people from returning to work. Beijing is moving to quickly revive the slowing economy, which research agencies such as Citi predict will grow at just 5.3% this year, the slowest in decades.
My take: An army moves on its stomach, iPhones on Chinese highways.
See Bloomberg’s “Low-cost iPhone plans said to remain on track for March launch” for another point of view.