It’s fair to say that 2020 has been an unusual year in almost every respect, and even the manufacturing might of Apple hasn’t been immune to the knock-on effect of coronavirus to supply chains. But the iPhone 13 launch will reportedly take place in September as things get back to normal.
This year’s iPhone 12 was officially unveiled at a virtual event on October 13. And while two of the handsets — the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro — were released a week later, the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max weren’t available to buy until a month after the event.
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Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple analyst with a knack of getting the main details right, doesn't foresee the same challenges for Apple this year. MacRumors reports that the analyst has forecasted production of the iPhone 13 with Apple A15 chips will return to the “usual timeframe.” That means we should see mass production in summer and a September iPhone 13 release date.
On one level, this isn’t surprising at all. It clearly wasn’t Apple’s intention to delay production of the iPhone 12, and vaccine progress is sounding promising enough that we can all be hopeful that coronavirus news will drop off a cliff by next summer.
But we can’t know that for sure, and perhaps the bigger takeaway here is that Apple has clearly learned to work around the problems of a remote workforce and socially distanced factories. Given the year we’ve had, it’s quite remarkable not just that the iPhone 12 was only delayed by a month, but that the company also found time to produce the Apple Watch 6, Apple Watch SE, AirPods Max, HomePod mini and Apple Silicon MacBooks before the year was out.
n other words, even if vaccine uptake isn’t as smooth as we’d hope, it wouldn’t be surprising if Apple had a few tricks up its sleeve to return production to normal in any eventuality.
Kuo also noted that despite the delay and global downturn, demand for the iPhone 12 remains strong. This is especially true for the iPhone 12 Pro models, which have suffered from shortages due to difficulty in sourcing camera components. Though we have heard that the iPhone 12 mini is struggling to set the world on fire.