Against all odds, Apple launched two new iPad Pros this week, though the expected iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 8 and its larger sibling remain absent. That may give a feeling that everything is OK in Apple land, at least until people try to buy these and other Apple products from the company’s online store. For now, buyers are being limited in the number of iPhones and iPads they can buy under a single name, one of the first visible signs of the COVID-19 coronavirus’ effects in the industry.
Apple did admit it might have some supply problems even when its manufacturing partners were outside of the Hubei province where the virus was believed to have originated from. Those factories and businesses have had a harder and slower time getting back up and product demand will eventually catch up and overtake how much they can supply. It seems that that time has finally arrived and Apple is putting a limit on bulk purchases of its products.
People trying to buy iPhones and even the new iPad Pros online have reported being limited to two of each model. That does mean they can still buy more than two iPhones provided the rest are different generations. Apple has not officially commented on this unannounced changed but its store policy does warn buyers it could limit purchases depending on the popularity of a product or supply constraints.
The latter might be the cause for this change, given the limitation applies to even the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Those supply constraints may be prompting grey market resellers who are starting to buy items in bulk to resell at higher prices.
Given the fact that all Apple physical stores outside China are temporarily closed, this becomes an effective measure to make sure that it is able to regulate the flow of products. It is still unknown how long this situation will last but analysts predict that things will pick up by April, at least as far as production and component supplies go.