- Apple may delay mass production of the iPhone 12 by about a month, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- The report comes after analysts and other media reports have also suggested Apple could push back the iPhone’s launch by a couple of weeks or a month because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Expectations are high for Apple’s rumoured 5G iPhone, as analysts have predicted that it could drive significant upgrades.
- Other than 5G, the iPhone 12 is expected to have a refreshed design and 3D Lidar cameras like the iPad Pro.
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Apple is reportedly delaying mass production of the iPhone 12 by about a month, according to The Wall Street Journal, making it the latest report to suggest that the company’s flagship product may be pushed back as the coronavirus affects consumer demand and disrupts global supply chains.
Apple typically mass-produces its new iPhones in the early summer to accumulate inventory by August ahead of the phones’ debut in September, but this year the company is expected to delay that process by about a month, according the the Journal.
The company is reportedly sticking to its plans to release four new iPhones later this year: a 5.4-inch iPhone, two 6.1-inch models, and a 6.7-inch variant. However, Apple is cutting the number of phones it plans to produce in the second half of this year by 20%, the Journal reported.
Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
It’s not the first report to suggest that Apple’s iPhone launch may be delayed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In late March, Nikkei Asian Review reported that Apple was holding discussions about the possibility of delaying the iPhone’s launch by months because of weakened consumer demand and production challenges.
Analysts at JPMorgan have also predicted that the next-generation iPhone launch could be pushed back by one to two months. Bloomberg, meanwhile, reports that at least some iPhone models may be released weeks later than usual, although the devices will still likely debut in the fall.
This year’s iPhone is expected to represent a significant upgrade from the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. Reports have suggested that the new phones will come with a refreshed design with flat edges similar to that of the iPad Pro, support for 5G networks, Lidar 3D sensors like those found on the latest iPad Pro, and a smaller “notch” cutout above the screen.
It’s a critical launch for Apple, as analysts have been expecting the next iPhone’s 5G connectivity and other improvements to drive significant upgrades in 2020. In its report about Apple potentially delaying the next iPhone, Nikkei Asian Review quoted a source with direct knowledge of the situation as saying that Apple needs its first 5G iPhone “to be a hit.”
The launch of a 5G iPhone later this year would come after Android smartphone makers like Samsung, LG, and OnePlus have already been selling 5G-equipped devices. But when asked about 5G on the company’s last earnings call in January, Apple CEO Tim Cook downplayed the importance of 5G in current smartphones, saying the network was still in its “early innings” in terms of being widely deployed globally.
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