While everyone knows the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the lives of millions in the US and all over the world, this is bringing disruption to the market as well. As far as the tech industry is concerned, we have already seen reports regarding MWC and the CES for this year being canceled while Apple’s WWDC has been made online-only and Google’s I/O conference is likely to follow the same route.
However, we are seeing reports now which reveal that smartphone launches could also be affected due to this pandemic. A new report regarding Apple from Nikkei Asian Review emerges which reports about the possibility of a delay in the Apple iPhone 12 series launch. While we don’t know what the next iPhones could be called, it is likely they will be called the iPhone 12 series. Also, we expect these phones to come with 5G support and newer design.
Therefore, a lot of hope and anticipation was there regarding the launch of the next iPhone series later this year. But it is also known that Apple’s production plants in China were the older and the upcoming iPhones are made were shut down for months due to the virus outbreak.
Now, the virus has spread to most of the world after China which means that even though Chinese factories have started opening, Apple’s stores outside China are closed indefinitely. All this means that Apple is considering delaying the launch of its iPhone 12 series by months. So the latest iPhones which normally get announced in the month of September will likely be delayed by few months.
Also, it is known that Apple sends its engineers to China for finalizing the design and other aspects of its upcoming products before releasing them. But since there are widespread restrictions on travel in China and other parts of the world, travelling is currently not possible and that is also a reason for the delay.
Citing a source close to the matters, Nikkei reported that “Supply chain constraint aside, Apple is concerned that the current situation would significantly lower consumer appetite to upgrade their phones, which could lead to a tame reception of the first 5G iPhone,”. “They need the first 5G iPhone to be a hit.”
The above quote suggests that Apple is worried about the demand for its next iPhones even though they are supposed to be coming with 5G and new design since the economy is likely to have a slowdown and a threat of recession is also looming. What this means is that Apple might consider delaying the iPhones deliberately so that the demand is back and the response is better than expected.
While it is likely that the next iPhones will be delayed by Apple, it remains to be seen how much that delay would be. The publication also reports that “Apple will make a final decision around May at the latest, given the fluid situation globally,” as to when launching the next iPhones would make business sense.
The concerning part, however, is that the 5G iPhone could be delayed to next year as well. A source tells Nikkei that while “The discussion is still at an early stage, and the fall launch is not completely off the table”, he adds that “the 5G iPhone could be postponed to 2021 in the worst-case scenario.”
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