Coronavirus Impact On The Smartphone Industry: Shipment Delays, Price Hikes And More
The coronavirus outbreak has created serious havoc in multiple countries like China, from where it originated and has already spread to more than 10+ countries killing thousands of people.
Highlights of the Story
- Mainly, the technology sector has been affected by having an impact on global businesses.
- Multiple Big Brands and companies have officially shut down their offices and retail stores in countries near China like Hong Kong and Taiwan.
- GSMA had to cancel MWC 2020 for this particular year leading to cancellation and delays of multiple product launches in various countries.
From the past some time now, the news has been completely filled over by the impacts of Coronavirus on all the sectors. The coronavirus outbreak has created serious havoc in multiple countries like China, from where it originated and has already spread to more than 10+ countries killing thousands of people. While most of the big Tech Giants have their headquarters or manufacturing units in China, this has been affected hugely due to Coronavirus. Mainly, the technology sector has been affected by having an impact on global businesses.
Multiple Big Brands and companies have officially shut down their offices and retail stores in countries near China like Hong Kong and Taiwan. Apple has shut down its corporate offices, all the manufacturing factories, and retail stores across China. Other brands such as Samsung, Google, Tesla, and Microsoft have also executed similar measures. While major of the closures were to be opened up in the past week, some haven’t still opened while other brands haven’t even yet confirmed their plans for reopening.
Deirdre O’Brien, Apple employee wrote in an internal email that, all the contact centers and offices will be opening up in the next week, while the reopening of the retail stores’ is not yet confirmed and depends upon the status of the Coronavirus outbreak. While Amazon has not yet informed about the closures of their offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou and the employees are advised to work from their home for a period of 14 days before returning back to offices.
Due to the delays in product launches, and the shortage of products while all due to Coronavirus, the prices of some products have been hiked in order to meet the demands of the supply chain. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8’s price has now been hiked by an additional Rs.500 in India both in offline and online market segments, while this is mostly a temporary price hike, the company claims that this was due to product shortage. This product shortage is even for devices manufactured in India, as the PCBs and other hardware components are manufactured in China and these components together are assembled here in India. Now China is facing complete isolation and trade to and fro the country has been almost locked down, this has made goods transfer really difficult and thus the price of all commodities that were imported from China has increased significantly.
The Coronavirus didn’t just have an impact on production shortages and prices, but also led to delays and cancellations of multiple product launches. Oppo canceled their event where the company was about to showcase the new Oppo Find X2 and the Oppo Reno 3 Pro smartphones, Realme also had postponed their event to 24th of Feb 2020, where they will be launching the new Realme X50 Pro and probably the new Realme Sayhat Band in India.
One smartphone that the Apple users were excited about the launch of the reported iPhone 9, this is supposed to be a device similar to the iPhone SE, coming in at a cheaper price than the iPhone 11, packing in old hardware and more. This was basically for people who wanted an iPhone at a slightly budget price.
OnePlus’s new OnePlus 8 Series of smartphones has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, A popular leakster and tipster @OnLeaks on twitter tipped that, the production of the units of the upcoming OnePlus 8 Series has been compromised and stopped for a while which has resulted in the delay of shipments of these devices.
While most of their companies have their office and major manufacturing centres in China, these manufacturing centres have been currently shut down delaying the launch and production of multiple products from different brands. Foxconn, one of the major suppliers and manufacturers of Apple products, has shut down its factories in China leading shortages in Apple Products and delaying the launches as well. Also, as per a report, the Government of China has ordered Foxconn to keep their plant in Shenzhen shut until their orders and the influence of Coronavirus is over. Other than this plant, the company has also decided to keep its plant in Zhengzhou shut for the safety of the workers.
Other than Apple, Multiple other companies have slowed down their production requests. For instance, Facebook also has stopped taking orders for its latest VR Gaming Headset named as Oculus Quest VR as a delay due to this COVID-19. They also mentioned in a statement that “[Like] other companies we’re expecting some additional impact to our hardware production due to the Coronavirus. We’re taking precautions to ensure the safety of our employees, manufacturing partners and customers, and are monitoring the situation closely. We are working to restore availability as soon as possible”. So now it is clear on how this has been impacting brands.
Also, one of the best Gaming Phones of 2019, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 won’t be available on sale until further notice from the company, Although Asus is a Taiwanese company. But due to Coronavirus, the supply chain all across Asia is disrupted and is quite affected by Coronavirus Outbreak.
While the GSMA Organised Mobile World Congress (MWC 2020) was to be held on February 25, 2020, multiple smartphone manufacturers like Sony, Amazon, Realme, Xiaomi, LG, ZTE and a lot more started backing off from the event. And as a result, GSMA had to cancel their event for this particular year leading to cancellation and delays of multiple product launches in various countries. Additionally, Huawei which was supposed to host a Developer Conference in the next week also has now finally decided to postpone the event until the end of March 2020.
(Cover Image Source: The New York Times)
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