Apple’s plans to increase iPhone production and launch a cheaper model could be disrupted by the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China, according to reports.
The outbreak has already impacted oil and financial markets, with oil prices falling to their lowest point in three months and the FTSE 100 losing more than 2% in early Monday trading.
A report in the Nikkei Asian Review on Tuesday morning said that Apple’s request to suppliers to produce 80 million iPhones over the first half of 2020 could be delayed.
The Japanese financial newspaper reported that the production of 65 million older iPhone models and 15 million newer models which will retail at a lower price is going to be disrupted by the outbreak.
Although manufacturing was due to start in the third week of February ahead of the unveiling of the new iPhone model in March, the spread of the coronavirus is getting stronger and causing Chinese authorities to put whole cities on lockdown.
China says 106 people have now died due to the outbreak, with more than 4,515 confirmed cases across the country.
Both numbers rose dramatically in the latest update from the country’s National Health Commission, with most of those affected hailing from the city of Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak.