Apple iPhone warning is good news for case-makers, bad for you

This week Apple sent a message to Apple Stores about the upcoming near-inevitability of supply shortages for iPhone replacements due to COVID-19. That's also known as novel coronavirus, a health issue affecting the whole world – but especially China, where much of Apple's manufacturing of hardware takes place. This could be bad news for you and good news for case-makers – those accessory creators whose aim it is to keep your iPhone safe from harm BEFORE it might need replacing.

Per the note reported on earlier this week via Bloomberg, technical support staff at Apple Stores – AKA Apple Geniuses – were given the news with reference to "heavily damaged devices" and their replacements. The note also suggested that Geniuses should offer to mail iPhone replacements and provide "loaner devices" instead of switching out for replacements on-the-spot.

This should allow the necessary period of two to four weeks to pass, so that Apple's supply chain numbers can rise once more. Until then, assuming you're a clumsy sort of iPhone user, you'll probably want to consider getting an iPhone case or protection of some sort.

If you've never had a case on your iPhone before, now's a good time to start. Even the cheapest of cases can make all the difference when it comes to a short drop and a hard stop on concrete or otherwise harder-than-glass surfaces. That tiny bit of bevel provided by a case might be the difference between a phone that survives and a phone that shatters.

To be clear, here, you don't need to go to an Apple store to buy an iPhone case that'll do the trick. You CAN go to an Apple Store, and you CAN order an iPhone case from a major supplier online. But as an iPhone user, you're part of the most major accessory ecosystem in the wide world of gadgets.

If there were one device which you could potentially find a case for in your local, small, simple electronics store, it's the iPhone you're holding right now. The case could cost you less than $20 – and it'll be well worth the effort!