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iPad Pro supply shortages reported across US amid coronavirus disruptions

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Add the iPad alongside hand sanitizer and face masks to the list of things in short supply due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The iPad Pro has limited stock in stores around the US, Australia and Europe, according to a Bloomberg report that reviewed Apple's website. All Wi-Fi-only models with 512GB of storage are sold out in the Los Angeles area, the report notes. On the opposite coast, several versions are sold out in New York City. 

Apple employees told Bloomberg that the supply shortages began last week when they started noticing low inventory in their systems. Apple hasn't acknowledged the low supply of iPad Pro tablets, but the company previously admitted it wouldn't hit its financial guidance for the March quarter due to supply shortages. 

Last month, Apple temporarily closed all 42 of its retail stores and corporate offices in China following advice from health experts.

There have been multiple reports predicting the upcoming iPad Pro will be delayed due to production challenges caused by the coronavirus. Apple is said to be shifting manufacturing of the forthcoming iPad Pro out of China and into Taiwan. But as the coronavirus spreads worldwide -- with new cases outside of China far exceeding the number inside of China -- the uncertainty of where and when new products get manufactured grows. 

Other companies hit by coronavirus

Apple isn't the only company facing the impossible task of optimizing operations as the deadly virus spreads at alarming rates. Arch-rivals Microsoft said it would miss third-quarter sales expectations for Windows licenses and Surface devices because the coronavirus is causing slowdowns in the supply chain.

As a whole, PC sales are expected to decline by 3% this year, according to technology research firm Canalys. That figure is a "best-case scenario" forecast, which suggests that the PC industry will only suffer a 3.4% year-over-year decline -- a drop from last year's 396 million units down to 382 million units -- if there is successful containment. Medical experts are losing hope of such an outcome as community spread is found in various regions throughout the world. 

Looking beyond finances, the coronavirus has caused the cancellation of more than a dozen tech events, including MWC 2020, GDC and GTC (which is now online-only). 

The coronavirus has infected more than 92,000 people around the world and led to more than 3,100 deaths. To learn more about the virus, and the ways to best protect yourself, visit cdc.gov