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Editor’s note: This article comes from WeChat public account “e-yiou” (ID: i-yiou), 36 氪 released with permission.Edited by Huang Zhilei 丨 Edited by Yang Xuran Xiaobei On March 18, Apple’s new iPad Pro and Macbook Air arrived as scheduled, but consumers simply couldn’t buy it.Not only that, since the Spring Festival, Apple iPad series products have been in short supply across the board. Due to the supply chain and the rising demand for online course tools, iPad series products have been out of stock in core cities in China for a long time.After March 13, Apple’s offline retail stores in mainland China have been fully open, but the supply side is still stretched.A week later, Apple implemented purchase restrictions.Apple Distributors: There is no stock available as an Apple distributor in Chengdu. Liang Lei told Yiou that since the school started online classes in mid-to-February, iPad sales in Chengdu, Sichuan and Chongqing have increased abnormally.The distributor’s price is even higher than the official website, and at this time the official website can no longer ship.Liang Lei received a lot of inquiries about the iPad Air and iPad mini series. Among them, the iPad mini has very few inventories, and the overall is only 30% to 40% of the iPad. Many users can only be forced to choose the iPad.According to Liang Lei estimates, only 2 to 3 months of iPad sales exceeded 30% to 40% over the same period.But at this time, most distributors have been unable to increase their sales because of “out of stock”.The well-known digital blogger “Beans Sprouts” told Yiou that in fact, there have been many purchase consultations on iPads since the end of January. At that time, an important reason for distributors not being able to ship was that the warehouse was still closed, and many electronics storesIt is still closed, and only distributors or distributors in independent warehouses have partial shipping capabilities.Out of stock also brought up the offer.Because the offline price system may not be consistent with Apple, multiple iPad product lines have exceeded the official website price.Taking the iPad Air 3 Standard Edition as an example, the quotation in December 2019 is still in the beginning of 3,000 yuan, which has exceeded the high of 4,000 yuan this year, and the high-configuration 256G memory version has also increased by 1,000 yuan.At the same time, second-hand iPads have also risen in different margins. “Beans have sprouts” found that even iPads purchased by users in 2019 can be sold above the purchase price during the 2020 Spring Festival.The high demand for products also brings the need for maintenance and replacement of old products.Since mid-late February, Liang Lei’s Chengdu market has seen a demand for battery replacement for iPads.Liang Lei explained that in order to meet the needs of children’s online lessons at home, many families turned out the old models.In order to cope with this demand, Liang Lei and his team can only rely on inventory to sell after the Spring Festival, and only make up for the difference until March, but the actual demand still cannot be fully met.In addition to local distributors, online e-commerce has also been out of stock. Yiou found that e-commerce platforms including JD.com and Tmall have only a few SKUs for iPad-based iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini and other products.In stock, most of them are mainly equipped with high version (1T or cellular network version), and the remaining inventory has also been exhausted.Yiou: In 2020, Apple’s 52 offline retail stores in Greater China are more than just tablets. Due to supply problems caused by the epidemic, Apple has warned retail store employees in early March that the iPhone shortage has affected customer renewals and customers.It takes 2 to 4 weeks to complete the replacement. In addition, the pressure of shortage of individual parts still exists.In addition, Sina Technology cited media sources that the existing iPhone inventory may be low in April and even longer.Sources said that suppliers are doing their best to produce, but the delay cannot be too long, otherwise it will affect Apple’s new product sales strategy in the second half of the year.Another industry insider pointed out that, on average, the current capacity of iPhone supply chain suppliers has only recovered by about 30% to 50%.”The iPhone supply chain obstruction may continue into April. From labor shortages to logistics and transportation, there are still many obstacles.” Foxconn, as the major iPhone foundry manufacturer, ushered in the first day of resumption of work at the Zhengzhou factory on February 10.In order to increase production capacity as quickly as possible, Foxconn introduced new incentives.According to Tencent.com, Zhengzhou Foxconn recently launched the “Epiphyseal Rebate Incentive Award”, which is for iDPBG (digital product business group) Zhengzhou employees at the staff level (excluding the sunshine workshop), each rewarding 3,000 yuan.On March 18, the Foxconn Wuhan plant was approved by the local government for resumption of work. The first employees have returned to the park. Foxconn announced that it will resume work in batches in the future, but will not respond to the resumption of work in specific areas.There are still many employment gaps under the high bonus, and the employment gap has also increased the labor burden of workers. Some workers ran high rewards, but were “teared 6,000 Apple mobile phone films by hand” or “dailyMoving more than 7,000 molds “advised to retreat.However, Foxconn is still confident in recovering production capacity. Reuters reported that Foxconn plans to restore 80% of production capacity in March and strive to restore all production capacity in April.In addition, it is reported that, in order to ensure that the iPhone 9 is launched on time, Apple intends to divert orders to BYD to accelerate the mass production of the product.Online lessons, the “culprit” of iPad shortages In addition to the supply-side and logistics-side shortages caused by the epidemic, rising consumer demand is also the root cause of the shortage.The first quarter is generally the off-season for Apple products. Although there are Spring Festival promotions in China, generally the previous series of products were released in September of the previous year. Most consumers have gradually increased consumer demand and have gradually declined.The regular orders received during the quarter are not many, and this also makes the abnormally high demand increase the consumption of inventory.According to the Nikkei Asian Review in early March, iPad series products have become popular due to the increasing demand for online courses in China.A person familiar with the matter revealed that Apple has increased production orders for the latest iPad models by 20% in the first half of the year.The current shortage of iPad products may last up to 4 weeks, especially for cheap models, and the supply simply cannot meet the demand.The “culprit” that caused the demand for iPad to rise is online courses.According to Dingding data, since the resumption of class on February 10, Dingding’s “Class at Home” program has opened up the “online classroom” function to national primary and secondary schools. In more than a month, 140,000 schools and 2.9 million students nationwideClasses are on the go, covering 120 million students in more than 30 provinces across the country.3.5 million people’s teachers across the country have become anchors.Uncle Xia, the person in charge of shrimp play technology, defined the iPad series as “productivity before buying, iQiyi after buying”, but the iPad, which was previously positioned as a “restricted entertainment tool” in the family, is becoming a “reliable learning tool”.Popular with parents.Not only is the school’s daily curriculum needs, the resumption of classes also stimulates students’ extracurricular learning, which in turn drives the use of iPad.K12 Art Education, a senior education practitioner who has worked for Fang Yuan, deeply understands the “anxiety” of parents. Fang Yuan has received feedback from many parents on the difficulty of purchasing iPads. Due to the special nature of the platform, iPads can be used to complete teaching. There are also device versions.Higher requirements require a new version of iPad, iPad Pro, or iPad mini 2 or higher to support it.The problem encountered by parents is not out of stock. Delays or non-delivery by major e-commerce platforms only makes parents anxious. Fang Yuan and colleagues can only know as much as possible in the community which home appliance platform can deliver goods, helping parentsGet the source information at one time.And for every 100 students, 3 to 4 people cannot complete the course because of equipment problems, and even some families cannot complete the course because they do not have an iPad.Since the resumption of the lesson on the platform in mid-February, Fang Yuan found that only 60% of the daily class rate has rapidly increased to 85%, but this has not boosted sales performance, and even more users who have signed up for the trial class have given up the audition because they have no equipment.Another reason for the lack of stock also comes from insufficient inventory prepared by distributors in various places.In December last year, the bean sprout had talked to friends in the industry about the new product that Apple will release on March 18. According to the supply chain news, the bean sprout and the peers also intentionally lowered the inventory of the iPad series and Macbook Air product line at hand.”Beans have sprouts” told Yiou that before and after the Spring Festival, there is a consumption replacement period. Consumers will “buy new but not old” if there is a budget. As a dealer and distributor, no one wants to press the goods on hand, intentionally.Not buying stock has also become the right choice before the Spring Festival.However, the sudden outbreak prevented distributors from replenishing new products, including failure to respond to old product orders.However, Liang Lei is optimistic about the sales of Apple’s old models, especially the iPad Pro and Macbook Air series updates. Although most users will still choose new models, the launch of new products will accelerate the price reduction of old products and attract users.Larger, which is also an important reason why Liang Lei still maintains the replenishment status of the old iPad products.Educational intelligent hardware: The next main battlefield of technology companies Although the tablet market has not returned to its peak in 2015 in recent years, thanks to the rapid development of education informatization, especially the rapid development of online education in China and the United States, the demand for tablet products has been further pushed up.IDC: China ’s Tablet PC Market Shipment from 2015 to 2019 According to the latest data released by IDC, a total of 22.41 million tablet PCs will be shipped worldwide in 2019, which is very popular with the 10.2-inch iPad launched in September 2019.8.56 million units, with a market share of 38.2%, becoming the world’s largest tablet computer manufacturer. China’s Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo accounted for 7.37 million units (32.9%), 1.23 million units (5.5%), and 760,000 units (3.4%).Listed two or three or four goods.IDC: The top five tablet computer manufacturers in China are shipped in the consumer market in 2019. Education has become an important reason for the improvement of the tablet computer market. The tablet computer consumer market has changed the decline in 2018 and achieved a year-on-year growth of 6.7% in 2019.And this time the demand for online courses also brought an abnormal impact in the epidemic situation. Perhaps the sales volume that had originally fallen will rise against this trend.The education market has always been favored by Apple. At the time, Apple CEO Timothy Donald Cook said that Apple has been paying attention to the education market since 1978.That year, Apple reached an agreement with the Minnesota Computer Association, giving Minnesota students the right to use 500 Apple II computers.At the Lane tech conference in 2018, Apple’s iPad was aimed at the education market, supporting Apple Pencil to make this product popular with students and educators; in addition, in enterprise applications, Apple also providedTeaching institutions provide many management services, including course management Classroom, electronic version of homework software Handdouts, educational office software Activiies, etc. With the help of the ClassKit framework, Apple chooses to go out of the road of differentiation with PC and open up a larger consumer market in a to B way.Apple co-developers provide comprehensive IT-to-deployment services for the education management market. For the K12 education market, Apple supports the full deployment of devices to cloud services. Education customers can purchase corresponding education equipment according to individual needs. Apple even provides a free foundation.iCloud storage service, after the iPad OS goes online, more developers will use cross-platform to develop educational applications to meet the management needs of educators.Apple also has hundreds of thousands of education apps. Apple Store has launched 200,000 education apps in 2018, relying on more than 20 million developers worldwide. Apple is further expanding the education market.In mainland China, Apple works with 46 authorized education distributors, which can provide customized solutions for primary and secondary schools and universities.As long as you are a student or a faculty member who is at least 18 years old, you can get preferential purchase rights.Yiou: In 2020, Apple’s 46 authorized education dealers in China will further open the market. Apple has provided preferential purchase policies for individual and collective education customers. For example, the iPad Pro official website retail price is 6299 yuan, and education users are 5829 yuan.From now on, the product lines covered by education discounts include Mac, iPad, AppleCare +, etc., while refurbished products can also be purchased at discounted prices.This hardware-driven software ultimately achieves a full ecological implantation of services and is helping Apple replace the educational infrastructure in the North American market.But Apple is not without competitors.Since the US government promoted the informationization of basic education in 2013, Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc. have started to export products and support to schools in their own ways. Google’s Chromebook has accelerated the erosion of Apple’s education market with low prices.In the Chinese market, the iPad has not yet become the first choice for education. At present, the government advocates the procurement of educational equipment mainly based on Android tablets. For example, after a local education department in Guizhou Province solicited the opinions of students, the recommended price was 3,000 yuan.Consumers ’desire to buy declines, Apple ’s performance is a mystery. Apple announced in mid-February that due to the impact of the epidemic, the quarterly revenue forecast for March as of March could not be achieved.Not only existing products, but due to supply reasons, there are speculations in the supply chain that the 5G iPhone originally planned to be released in September will also be delayed by one month, and its mass production may be delayed to the second quarter.Greater China, as an important position in China’s revenue, has become a key area that controls Apple’s stock price.In the first quarter of 2019, Apple’s total revenue was 58 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year decrease of 17%, and profit fell 16% year-on-year to 11.5 billion U.S. dollars. IPhone sales in the Greater China region fell 22% year-on-year as the main reason.Apple’s revenue decline in the first quarter of this year has become a high probability fact, but the same year’s revenue will still depend on the speed of Apple’s subsequent supply chain recovery.On the consumer side, although there are opinions that retaliatory consumption helps consumer brands to recover performance, from the perspective of bean sprouts, users are more rational in consumer electronics, especially smart phones, and retaliatory consumption is more restrained.Market data in recent years also show that the continued shrinking shipments of the smart phone market and the longer user replacement cycles have greatly affected the growth of mobile phone brand revenue.A research report released by Aurora Big Data shows that the replacement cycle of smartphone users in China is generally longer. More than half of users have a replacement cycle of more than 2 years. Nearly a quarter of users choose to replace it for more than 3 years. 41% of Apple users think that the replacementThe cycle did get longer.In addition, StrategyAnalytics mentioned in its 2019 report that Apple users in the U.S. market have an 18-month life cycle, and 1 in 5 white people plan to use their phones for more than 3 years or even longer. Although 5G is being watched by consumers, it is actually changing.Machine willingness remains to be verified.The epidemic is like a big test, tortured Apple’s supply chain. Similar to Apple, there are many domestic 3C consumer brands, but unlike Apple, not all brands can “enjoy” the out of stock brought by hot sales.As of press time, except for the new iPad Pro and Macbook Air, which have 2 and 5 restricted purchases on Apple ’s official website, most of the products have already been opened for purchase, but Macbook and iPad product lines still need 2 to 3 weeks to ship, even iPad Air and iPad.Delivery has been delayed until April 15.(The intern Liu Yinuo also contributed to this article, and Fang Yuan changed his pseudonym at the request of the interviewee).

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