Mass production of Apple’s iPhone 12 (opens in new tab) could be delayed by a month, as the coronavirus pandemic is set to cause slowdowns in Apple’s smartphone supply chain. Worse, Apple may be cutting iPhone 12 production by as much as 20%.
Sources familiar with Apple’s production plans tipped The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab) about the potential delays, indicating that the Cupertino company might not be able to make enough units of the next iPhone to release it as normal in September. Apple is nevertheless pushing ahead with creating the iPhone 12; just don’t expect it’ll arrive in stores at the same time it does most years.
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The crux of this expected delay (opens in new tab) is down to the spread of COVID-19 and its effect on both technology manufacturing and supply chains, as well as consumer demand for premium devices; some people are not likely to fork over $700 to $1,200 when the world is poised to enter into a recession.
Apple has apparently slashed its production numbers for the iPhone 12 by 20% for the second half of the year. It’s not clear whether this is due to it forecasting a drop in iPhone demand or if its supply chain simply can’t operate at the volumes it might be expected to if there wasn’t a global pandemic.
Apple is slated to release its first 5G phones this year, with the iPhone 12 being made up of a range of models (opens in new tab) from a 5.4 inch and 6.1-inch iPhone 12 to a 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPone 12 Pro. And Apple looks on track to do just that according to most of the latest leaks.
However, Apple might reveal the iPhone 12 models in September, but it is not likely to have vast amounts of them ready to sell in high volumes after its announcement. The Wall Street Journal’s report echos the predictions of analyst and Apple oracle Ming-chi Kuo who recently said that the iPhone 12 is a month behind schedule. So we’re more likely to see mass production of the iPhone 12 take place in October with the handsets going on sale towards the end of the month or potentially at the start of November.
Apple has said nothing official about whether it’s on schedule for an iPhone reveal in September or if it has some coronavirus-related problems with its supply chain, though Apple is famous for keeping all its plans under wraps and not commenting on speculation.
As it stands it’s looking like there will be a new iPhone launched in the second half of 2020 but it might be difficult to get hold of one until 2021 comes around.