The coronavirus means it might be the perfect time for Apple’s new iPad Pro
Factories are opening in China again and people are working from home, meaning the new Apple iPad Pro might be perfectly timed
At the height of the coronavirus epidemic in China, factories across the country were closed, disrupting the supplies of many popular gadgets. But even as the epidemic turned into a pandemic and upended business across the globe, Apple went ahead last week and introduced a new iPad Pro, which will start to ship this week.
But with many people now confined to their homes, consumers might be looking for new gadgets to help occupy their time.
“It’s not a very bad time for the new iPad Pro to be released to the market,” said Ethan Qi, senior analyst at Counterpoint Research.
According to Qi, people turning to remote work and online classes could boost demand for tablets. That’s exactly what happened in China in February. Even though the shutdown of offline retail channels around the world could inhibit some iPad sales, online channels remain open, he said.
But will there be enough iPads for everyone? Qi said the pandemic isn’t likely to put severe strain on iPad Pro supplies. Monthly iPad demand is typically in the hundreds of thousands, according to Qi, and manufacturing capabilities in China have already started recovering.
The iPad Pro could also be less affected because some manufacturing was likely done before the coronavirus outbreak hit China. Manufacturing experts who spoke to the Washington Post said the early stages of designing and manufacturing Apple’s new tablet “probably took place many months before” the outbreak.
Counterpoint’s Qi also said that Apple likely already has products in stock for markets where the new iPad Pro is being launched first.
“It takes about a month from manufacturing to distribution,” Qi said. “So it should [have been] February when Apple already received the product.”
While Apple’s iPads are currently made in mainland China, that could change in the future. Reports in February said that Apple is looking at shifting some of production for the iPad, AirPods and Apple Watch to Taiwan because of limited production in China.
Apple said it doesn’t have a comment on the pandemic’s impact on the supply of the new iPad Pro. The tablet has been available to order online since March 18 in 30 countries and regions, and it will be available in stores starting this week, according to Apple’s website.