Apple moving iPad production out of China due to coronavirus outbreak

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The Wuhan coronavirus is causing a rumble in the tech world and reportedly shaking up Apple's production plans.

Taiwan News (via 9to5Mac), citing Taiwanese tech site DigiTimes, reports that Apple is relocating some of its production for the forthcoming iPad Pro, AirPods, and Apple Watch from China to Taiwan.

"Apple is trying to diversify its supply chain geographically due to the spread of the virus, which has seriously affected the production of Apple products in the communist country," Taiwan News wrote.

Apple has reportedly chosen not to dispatch engineers to its production facilities in China and the rest of Asia due to fears of the coronavirus. About one-third of Apple's production lines in China is purportedly remaining idle during the first quarter of 2020. Returning to the tech giant's normal levels of production before the end of February would be nearly impossible, according to Taiwan News.

Despite reports of Apple's production hurdles, Pocket-lint revealed that the next generation of the iPad Pro is poised to launch in March, as scheduled. However, the tech giant may have a lower supply of the refreshed lineup.

The highly anticipated 2020 iPad Pro is rumored to come equipped with 5G support, an A14 processor, and a triple-camera system similar to the iPhone 11 Pro line.

There's no word yet on whether the upcoming 2020 Apple Watch model will be slated to launch on time, but there are rumors swirling around the tech sphere about the AirPods Pro Lite -- dubbed the "entry-level" version of the AirPods Pro -- being unlikely to be launched during the second quarter of 2020 as originally planned.

For those anxiously waiting for the iPhone SE 2 and iPhone 12, you'll be happy to know that both are expected to meet their rumored release dates in March/April and September, respectively. 

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!