iPhone 12 delayed?: Coronavirus outbreak could push back production

iPhone 11
The iPhone 11. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Coronavirus has already had a significant effect on the world, let alone the global tech community. But it looks as if despite the problems it’s caused, the biggest phone launch of the year will still go ahead as planned.

DigiTimes reports that while production of the iPhone 12 could be delayed to after June 2020, Apple still intends for the phone to be revealed at a September launch event has it has done with every generation of iPhone since the iPhone 5.

It had initially been reported by DigiTimes (via MacRumors) that while the iPhone 9/iPhone SE 2 (rumored to launch in May) was going to make it to launch mostly unaffected by the coronavirus outbreak, the iPhone 12 could fall behind since Apple was no longer sending engineers to check on the development process, at least according to DigiTimes’ unnamed sources. While this could have meant delays, it now seems that this will no longer be a problem even if production starts later than hoped.

Many tech manufacturers’ production facilities, including Apple, are based in a small number of Chinese cities. Since coronavirus is hitting China the hardest out of all the countries in the world, the long-term impact on tech production could be severe. Happily, despite some bumps caused by the factories closing for longer than intended and losing workers to mass resignations, it seems the iPhone 9 and the iPhone 12 will still launch on schedule, even if the output is reduced, potentially leading to limited supplies of phones when they go on sale.

As well as causing thousands of deaths worldwide and numerous more confirmed cases, coronavirus is also responsible for the cancellation of Mobile World Congress 2020, the world’s largest expo for smartphones and related technology. This was due to multiple companies pulling out of the event as a precaution against the disease, despite organizers the GSMA putting extra precautions in place.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.