Coronavirus just won’t stay out of the news, and that includes the tech world. And with device and part manufacturers suffering with factory closures and massive shortages in workers, it’s likely that we will see some form of impact on the availability of hardware.

The iPad Pro is one example, with Bloomberg noting that it’s currently experiencing limited availability.

Stock shortages across the United States, Australia, and Europe have been noted with some models in particular already sold out. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro with 512GB of storage is in very short supply, according to the report.

Some Apple store employees said they started noticing reduced iPad Pro inventory in the last week. They asked not to be identified discussing private product information. Apple has been planning to debut a new iPad Pro with upgraded cameras as early as the first half of this year, so the supply shortages could also be due to incoming models. If that’s the cause of the limited availability, the presence of the virus may still disrupt Apple’s plans.

So why is that? There are a couple of possible reasons. One of those is the aforementioned coronavirus. We’ve been expecting shortages of some sort and this may be the first sign that Apple is starting to feel the strain. Or, it could be something else.

We’ve been hearing rumors of a new iPad Pro refresh for a while, with the first half of 2020 penciled in. Some have even suggested that it will arrive as soon as this month, although that may be unlikely. Apple is also rumored to have an iPhone 9 announcement up its sleeve, but that too may have been pushed back following the coronavirus outbreak. It’s certainly unlikely that we’ll see a full-blown Apple media event.

Whatever the reason for the shortage right now, we’re fairly confident that 2020 will see an iPad refresh. The current iPad Pro was released in November 2018, so we’re most definitely due a new one.

(Source: Bloomberg)

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