KEY POINTS

  • Apple is placing limits on buying iPhones in certain countries
  • The company is planning to keep hoarders from taking all the iPhone stock during the outbreak
  • These phones could be sold to areas where it's currently difficult to purchase iPhones

Apple has recently announced that it’ll limit its iPhone sales to customers right now. Several countries have received this temporary iPhone limit. The reason for the limitation is similar to Apple’s previous case for imposing these limits.

The company has recently placed these limits in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore as Reuters reports. These regions are currently limited to ordering two smartphones from the Apple’s stores. The drop-down menus on their country’s Apple sites will only allow customers from these regions to only buy two iPhones of the same kind.

Apple has previously placed these limits in order to stave scalpers off the first iPhone release back in 2007. This time, Apple is currently preventing scalpers from taking advantage of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak that’s currently affecting many countries throughout the globe. Many Apple stores in heavily affected countries are operating at a limited capacity and the production line has also been delayed due to the measures taken on the coronavirus cases.

Potentially, Apple is preventing people from hoarding the smartphone and selling it to the grey market. As of now, the outbreak has already caused some medical and hygiene products such as rubbing alcohol and toilet paper to be hoarded. So far, smartphones have yet to join the list of hoarded items during the outbreak.

According to Canalys analyst Nicole Peng, the hoarded iPhones could be sold to mainland China where new smartphones can be difficult to find and buy. Apple is currently operating a few stores in some cities of China and has yet to fully recover its store and office operations worldwide.

2020-02-25T185033Z_811354873_RC2U7F9YTS3Z_RTRMADP_3_CHINA-HEALTH-APPLE-IPHONE People wearing protective masks wait for checking their temperature in an Apple Store, in Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, February 21, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo