We have been hearing mixed reports about the iPhone 12 launch in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, with some claiming the upcoming lineup will not be affected as production will resume by May, and others stating various supply-side constraints and issues related to demand can very well affect the announcement. A new report from DigiTimes gives a more positive outlook, claiming that supply chain partners have rebuffed reports that Apple has ordered a delay in production.
iPhone 12 Launch Delay Until 2021 Is the Worst-Case Scenario
According to the report, Taiwanese manufacturers that make printed circuit boards (PCBs) for iPhones have negated rumors that claimed that the Cupertino-based company has asked them to postpone volume production of the iPhone 12 family by two months. According to another report by the same media outlet, Apple supplier Pegatron has raised concerns regarding the disruptions that will be caused by travel restrictions placed because of COVID-19.
The company’s CEO SJ Liao has hinted that Apple is unable to directly supervise the manufacturing process. However, given that the executive said that the phones will be made without Apple’s supervision, it implies that the iPhone maker is determined to not let any issue affect the production process, which can, in turn, delay the launch of its first 5G-ready iPhones. The goal right now is to shorten the front-end processing work for smartphones. It’s also worth mentioning that Pegatron’s CEO didn’t directly take Apple’s name, and instead referred to it as a US-based client.
Previously, rumors were swirling around that Apple is considering delaying the iPhone 12 launch by a few months amid fears that the virus outbreak will affect demand. In February alone, demand for smartphones apparently fell 38 percent year-on-year, and with experts expecting the economy to go into recession, consumers will likely not be keen on spending on smartphone upgrades in the coming months.
The U.S. currently has the most coronavirus cases in the world. Apple has asked employees to work remotely until next month and its retail stores remain closed in the U.S. Apparently, the iPhone 9 launch has already been delayed because of the outbreak, although Apple might release it quietly like it launched it did with the 2020 iPad Pro and the new MacBook Air. Then again, the looming question is not just whether Apple will be able to meet production deadlines, but if the consumers will still have an appetite for items not deemed essential in the coming months.
According to a report, Apple will make a final decision regarding the iPhone 12 launch by May so we’ll find in the future if there’s an actual delay or not.
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