Why Apple's supply chain is prepared for China's coronavirus

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  • Reply 21 of 43
    imagladry said:
    I hope Apple plans to quarantine its products for at least nine days as that is how long the virus can survive on a surface.
    How can we know that? Early reports are the virus were early December. The virus as been viable for a little over 2 months.
    I just did an internet search and used the first credible sounding source I found. Truthfully you are right and there is no way to know at this point.
  • Reply 22 of 43
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,525moderator
    Here you go, plenty of information:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#age

    I read a news report that stated that 15% of confirmed cases result in pneumonia.  Well, that’s not surprising considering that “about 80% of those who died were over the age of 60 and 75% of them had pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.”

    Those numbers match up.   Young healthy adults seem to be survived by the course of the virus, which looks to be onset of symptoms+two weeks.  Looking at the ramp of the confirmed cases and the delayed ramp of the recoveries, I predicted last week that recoveries would hit 2000 by Saturday, Feb 2nd., when that prediction panned out, conforming to me that recoveries are trailing confirmed cases bu two weeks.  And than allowed me to predict for today, Tuesday, Feb 11, recoveries totaling 4000.  And that has now panned out.  So now I’m predicting recoveries at 10,000 by Friday, Feb 14.

    i see news headlines that speak of total confirmed cases and total deaths, but so far none that include recoveries.  The media tends to be sensationalist, and not very nuanced in their analysis of the facts.  But soon the recoveries will ramp to a number that grabs their attention and it’ll start getting reported on.  Recoveries will ramp strongly going forward, with the number of active cases (confirmed minus deaths and recovered) evening out at some point, I think around 60-90k.  That’s when the pressure on the medical system levels out, allowing the medical response to scale to catch up.  Then we should start to see a leveling out in new confirmed cases while the recoveries continue to ramp for a couple weeks as the majority move through the course of the virus.  

    By mid-March all of the above will have played out and the virus should be mostly contained.  
    edited February 2020 Dan_DilgerGG1FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 43
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,525moderator
    Further information:

    Comparisons:

    • Every year an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die in the world due to complications from seasonal influenza (flu) viruses. This figure corresponds to 795 to 1,781 deaths per day due to the seasonal flu. 
    • SARS (November 2002 to July 2003): was a coronavirus that originated from Beijing, China, spread to 29 countries, and resulted in 8,096 people infected with 774 deaths (fatality rate of 9.6%). Considering that SARS ended up infecting 5,237 people in mainland China, Wuhan Coronavirus surpassed SARS on January 29, 2020, when Chinese officials confirmed 5,974 cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). One day later, on January 30, 2020 the novel coronavirus cases surpassed even the 8,096 cases worldwide which were the final SARS count in 2003.
    • MERS (in 2012) killed 858 people out of the 2,494 infected (fatality rate of 34.4%).
    Wgkruegerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 43
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Here you go, plenty of information:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#age

    I read a news report that stated that 15% of confirmed cases result in pneumonia.  Well, that’s not surprising considering that “about 80% of those who died were over the age of 60 and 75% of them had pre-existing health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.”

    Those numbers match up.   Young healthy adults seem to be survived by the course of the virus, which looks to be onset of symptoms+two weeks.  Looking at the ramp of the confirmed cases and the delayed ramp of the recoveries, I predicted last week that recoveries would hit 2000 by Saturday, Feb 2nd., when that prediction panned out, conforming to me that recoveries are trailing confirmed cases bu two weeks.  And than allowed me to predict for today, Tuesday, Feb 11, recoveries totaling 4000.  And that has now panned out.  So now I’m predicting recoveries at 10,000 by Friday, Feb 14.

    i see news headlines that speak of total confirmed cases and total deaths, but so far none that include recoveries.  The media tends to be sensationalist, and not very nuanced in their analysis of the facts.  But soon the recoveries will ramp to a number that grabs their attention and it’ll start getting reported on.  Recoveries will ramp strongly going forward, with the number of active cases (confirmed minus deaths and recovered) evening out at some point, I think around 60-90k.  That’s when the pressure on the medical system levels out, allowing the medical response to scale to catch up.  Then we should start to see a leveling out in new confirmed cases while the recoveries continue to ramp for a couple weeks as the majority move through the course of the virus.  

    By mid-March all this will have played out and the virus should be mostly contained.  

    And, the part that confuses me is that those percentages (infected, pneumonia, deaths) seem roughly equivalent to regular flu -- at least as I understand it (and I admit I never paid a lot of attention to it).   So, is this just another strain?   If it were, we wouldn't see such a strong reaction from the experts.   Something is different here.

    Is it that it is more highly infectious?
    Or, is it that it has such a long incubation period during which the person is infectious but doesn't know that they are infected?

    BTW, regular flu generally kills the same way:  By 'turning into' pneumonia.  And that occurs mostly in the elderly and immunocompromised.
  • Reply 25 of 43
    Abalos65 said:
    I was so happy that the editorials of DED stopped appearing for some time. Sad to see them back again. 
    So don’t read them
    PickUrPoisondedgeckoWTimbermanFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 43
    By mid-March all of the above will have played out and the virus should be mostly contained.  
    I really, really hope you are correct. For now the big issue is that much of the manufacturing in China is shut down. They are starting it up again but it is going slow. If the virus continues to spread throughout China and they have to lock down more cities, there could be serious problems for the world economy.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 27 of 43
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    imagladry said:
    I hope Apple plans to quarantine its products for at least nine days as that is how long the virus can survive on a surface.
    How can we know that? Early reports are the virus were early December. The virus as been viable for a little over 2 months.
    I just did an internet search and
    And there’s your problem. 
    FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 43
    Abalos65 said:
    I was so happy that the editorials of DED stopped appearing for some time. Sad to see them back again. 
    Well I live to make trolls sad.
    dedgeckoWTimbermanFileMakerFellertex210watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 43
    M68000 said:
    Actually from what I've been able to find out, there is a general consensus building among experts that it could stay active on surfaces for 9 days - which is NOT proven YET, but could be true; temperature is believed to be a factor too.  It is absolutely vital that scientists identify this and agree and inform the public.   But one thing seems clear at this point - without a vaccine the only way to even try to get rid of it is by massive quarantine for weeks.  It is unfathomable to think that countries around the world would just suspend all travel for weeks at a time (not just China but ALL travel) and have everyone work at home if possible, but that would be a way to deal with this it would seem.
    Again, care to provide some links?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 43
    Well, this coronavirus looks serious to me for the following reasons:

    1 - airborne
    2 - up to a 24 day incubation period
    3 - lives on surfaces for up to 9 days
    4 - no vaccine
    5 - ~20% serious complication rate
    6 - completely uncontained
    7- laid waste to global supply chains

    There seems to be a lot of confirmation bias in this article and many of the posts. This virus is likely to persist for months - it is evident that the number of cases both inside and outside of China are increasing daily. Is it inconceivable that other countries, including the USA, could suffer the same fate as China?
    As for Apple production, is it not fair to say that it's virtually non-existent at present?
    Is it not reasonable to assume supply chains and production will be affected for months? Do you think this will all blow over in a week or two and somehow miraculously production levels will quickly be at pre-pandemic levels?  
    They say the best way to stop the infection spreading is via quarantine or self-isolation, so how will permitting thousands of workers to come into close contact with one another in large factories and dormitories help with that? What is the fast-track solution to this?
      
    Sure the central bankers are doing all they can to keep the markets afloat by injecting massive amounts of liquidity. But for how long can the markets defy gravity, whilst having so little regard for company earnings? Fairly soon inventory levels will be depleted, sales will plummet, and with it the share price.

    That's when many will discover Apple's supply chain is not prepared for the coronavirus.
     
  • Reply 31 of 43
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,450member
    I hope Apple plans to quarantine its products for at least nine days as that is how long the virus can survive on a surface.
    1000 people have died as of today, perhaps 30,000 have reportedly been infected in a super fast spreading illness. When the virus hits someone close to you, repeat your joke to lift your spirits. 
  • Reply 32 of 43
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,450member

    I hope Apple plans to quarantine its products for at least nine days as that is how long the virus can survive on a surface.

    You might be thinking of the time from the initial infection of a person till symptoms begin to appear.
    Initially I had heard it was (I forget exactly but...) around 10-14 days.   But a few days ago I saw a report saying it could be 3 weeks (although I have not seen that number anywhere else).

    I suspect that whatever the exact time frame, that may be what makes this virus difficult:   If you don't know you have it you could infect a whole lot of people.

    Another unverified report I've seen claimed that the virus was "highly infective" -- implying that it was more infectious than typical flu.

    But, otherwise, from what I have seen, this virus is actually not that much worse than regular flu which, according to the CDC in the U.S. in 2018-2019:
    Infected:   35million
    Hospitalized:  490K
    Killed:  34K

    So far, this virus isn't even close to those numbers 40K infected and less than 1K dead.
    But, for whatever the reason, experts are scared of this:   China is taking truly extraordinary measures to contain it and the World Health Organization is taking it equally seriously.
    Agree, this is just the beginning and could be an example of years to come. 
  • Reply 33 of 43
    IreneWIreneW Posts: 300member

    1 - airborne
    2 - up to a 24 day incubation period
    3 - lives on surfaces for up to 9 days
    4 - no vaccine
    5 - ~20% serious complication rate
    6 - completely uncontained
    7- laid waste to global supply chains

    Could you PLEASE check your "facts" before posting!

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 43
    M68000M68000 Posts: 483member
    IreneW said:
    M68000 said:
    Actually from what I've been able to find out, there is a general consensus building among experts that it could stay active on surfaces for 9 days - which is NOT proven YET, but could be true; temperature is believed to be a factor too.  It is absolutely vital that scientists identify this and agree and inform the public.   But one thing seems clear at this point - without a vaccine the only way to even try to get rid of it is by massive quarantine for weeks.  It is unfathomable to think that countries around the world would just suspend all travel for weeks at a time (not just China but ALL travel) and have everyone work at home if possible, but that would be a way to deal with this it would seem.
    Again, care to provide some links?
    You can do a google or bing search yourself,  I put this search “Coronavirus active on surfaces for nine days” into bing.com and it returns many sources including Forbes.  
  • Reply 35 of 43
    Abalos65 said:
    I was so happy that the editorials of DED stopped appearing for some time. Sad to see them back again. 
    Well I live to make trolls sad.
    Not everyone being negative towards your editorials is a troll. Calling everyone a troll is more a defense mechanism on your part to quickly dismiss these comments.

    Just wanted to keep AppleInsider know that I would not miss these editorials. If I wanted to see them, I would go to your own website. Just my feedback.
    muthuk_vanalingamcrowley
  • Reply 36 of 43
    Well, this coronavirus looks serious to me for the following reasons:
    <snip>
    Well, I wasn't expecting some sort of Spanish Inquisition! :wink:
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 43
    This is a great editorial. 

    Operations has been the magic of Apple hiding in plain site. You don't see it in the product pictures, or the testimonials. It shows up when you realize that Apple products sell well over a hundred million units a year. iOS is localized in over 100 languages and I don't know how many countries, and it just hums along like a finely tuned engine. Incredible. 

    The other thing to know is how lazy some of these reporters are. They piece together a few rumors and make pronouncements about the future of Apple's business. Coming up with an accurate report would take a lot of hard research. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 43
    I would miss them.  Did you actually have a critique of the story or just a personal attack on the writer?

    Abalos65 said:
    Abalos65 said:
    I was so happy that the editorials of DED stopped appearing for some time. Sad to see them back again. 
    Well I live to make trolls sad.
    Not everyone being negative towards your editorials is a troll. Calling everyone a troll is more a defense mechanism on your part to quickly dismiss these comments.

    Just wanted to keep AppleInsider know that I would not miss these editorials. If I wanted to see them, I would go to your own website. Just my feedback.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 43
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,339member
    Some comments:

    "Most rival domestic phone resellers in China operate vast numbers of kiosks designed to sell their cheap Androids largely via promotional pricing. The greatest impact of broad retail store closures will fall on brands such as Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi, who all strive to make razor-thin margins on vast unit sales of commodity devices. Their businesses are contingent on massive sales volumes shipped out at minimal cost -- and Apple's are not."

    Huawei has flagship stores, it also sells through retail outlets and online. It is a very balanced operation. One of its strongest sellers though is Huawei Honor which is by definition the e-brand of Huawei and sells vast quantities of Honor phones online. Virtually all the phones Honor sells. Very few are sold through 'resellers' (kiosks or otherwise). It has been so successful that Huawei has gradually been ramping up a similar strategy for the Huawei brand. If the reseller channels were to see supply problems (logistics) foot traffic problems, potential customers would simply purchase online.

    Huawei's margins are not 'razor thin' and Xiaomi famously - and deliberately - keeps its margins low by design. In fact Huawei just invested 15 billion dollars in R&D. It may not have the highest profits but it ploughs between 10 and 15% of its revenues back into its business. And that is all without access to the U.S market. It still has billions leftover. You can't do that on razor thin margins. And the CE division has been growing wildly for years now.

    It's not about the 'greatest impact' because at this point it is simply impossible to know.

    Literally impossible.

    And long before the coronavirus, Huawei was evaluating opening manufacturing hubs in the EU, which it seems have just become official (5G first):

    https://www.rcrwireless.com/20200205/wireless/huawei-promises-manufacturing-hubs-in-europe.

    95% of mobile phones in India are actually manufactured there according to some sources. In the smartphone space, Chinese brands and Samsung lead the pack. Xiaomi alone had almost 27% of the Indian smartphone market the last time I checked, with Vivo/Oppo also doing well. I think their supply chain looks to expand operations there, as does Huawei. Apple can do little in terms of scale as it really doesn't have a competitive product for India. In fact, some say the rumoured iPhone SE2 is an attempt to put a competitive product into that market. It does make some sense after failing with its previous approach.

    As for depending on 'commodity' products. Again not truly applicable to Huawei or Honor as both brands have shown stunning and consistent growth in their higher end models. Prices increased and then increased again.

    It is even toying with the idea of fully automatic, staffless stores to fully flesh out their offerings. Ironically, the first one opened in Wuhan.

    https://beebom.com/huawei-unmanned-retail-store-robot-staff-china/

    And if we are talking business, Apple remains heavily reliant on iPhone sales and absolutely DOES depend on shipping vast quantities. You only have to go back a year to see evidence of that. The 'minimal cost' doesn't make a lot of sense when there have been amazing growth numbers for Chinese brands with prices actually increasing. Those phones that do have a minimal cost are still propping up the bottom line as long as they are profitable in the bigger scheme of things.

    Having a decent spread of phones at all price bands is a positive, not a negative and most Chinese brands have ecosystems too. It will be harder for some than for others but any failure in a Chinese brand would probably benefit other Chinese brands making them stronger in the process.

    All the Chinese brands have put a lot of energy into expanding their presence in the E.U, India and South America. In the case of Huawei, Africa too.




  • Reply 40 of 43
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 6,339member
    "Which Android makers can afford to take elaborate steps to keep their factories and their workers safe and productive when they are already barely profitable at peak production?"

    Huawei.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/huawei-to-pay-workers-an-extra-months-salary-give-bonuses-for-struggle-against-the-us/2019/11/13/6feff5a8-05c0-11ea-9118-25d6bd37dfb1_story.html

    'Barely profitable' companies can't double the pay of 194,000 employees. Nor can they invest between $15-20B in R&D. Nor can they make an annual profit in 2019 of $9B.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/28/tech/huawei-earnings-china/index.html

    In fact, I would imagine virtually all of them can take the necessary steps.

    Where required, I imagine a lot of manufacturing is in the hands of factories owned by Hon Hai Precision Engineering or such like, and Hon Hai definitely has the resources. The problem is, in cases like this, 'elaborate steps' can mean closing installations.


    edited February 2020
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