Apple limiting iPhone sales to two devices due to supply shortages

Apple to prevent bare shelves by limiting iPhone purchases

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make our lives increasingly difficult, we’re seeing panic buying on crucial household items. Things like toilet paper, baby wipes, diapers, hand sanitizer, water and more are almost nonexistent in stores. It’s a simple case of a dramatic supply and demand shift.

Also impacted by COVID-19’s worldwide journey is consumer tech, as supply chains have slowed down due to factory closures to allow for social distancing in countries hit hardest by the novel coronavirus. China’s factories have since started reopening, but there will be a bit of a ramp-up period before supply is back to normal.

According to reports, Apple has taken action to prevent its shelves from looking like the bathroom tissue aisle at your local grocery store during this supply-side issue. Starting Friday, Apple began limiting online iPhone purchases to just two of the same models per person.

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Making matters worse, reports indicate iPhone sales are slumping, but Apple still feels supply is so short it needs to limit sales.

Low inventory likely isn’t the only reason Apple is limiting sales online. Experts also say it fears scalpers will buy up its online inventory and resell it at a hefty markup now that Apple’s closed its brick-and-mortar stores to prevent the spread of the virus.   

This is the first time since 2007 – the year the iPhone was released – that Apple has limited sales. At that time, it limited sales to deter resellers from gobbling up inventory and hawking them at a big markup.

Not every country is affected by this limitation, but we know the U.S., China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore are all impacted. The limitation is only online, so you can still buy as many iPhones as you like from non-Apple brick-and-mortar cellphone shops.

Apple has not addressed the limitations itself, nor has it announced when it will end.

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