There’s a huge chance that we won’t see the usual iPhone launch in September this year.
A report from Nikkei Asian Review revealed that Apple is weighing on the possibility of postponing the launch of the first 5G iPhone due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The California-based tech giant has reportedly been internally discussing the possibility of delaying the launch by months. Meanwhile, supply chain sources said that the coronavirus threats may push back the originally planned September release.
The report added that Apple wanted its first 5G iPhone to be a huge success. Regardless of the supply chain constraints, the company is more concerned with the current economic situation. If this persists (which is more likely to happen), people will no longer upgrade their phones and could result in poor reception of the first 5G iPhone.
To recall, Apple is already a year behind its competitors in terms of 5G technology. Samsung and Huawei were able to launch 5G-supported high-end smartphones this year. Both brands are already planning to expand 5G to more affordable handsets in the coming months.
Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the brand’s product development timeline with the majority of Apple headquarters’ employees working remotely from home for an indefinite time to comply with the California government’s orders.
Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected product development but the engineering part as well. With the implementation of travel bans around the globe, Apple who were supposed to work closely with global suppliers had to postpone their trips.
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In the part of suppliers, many agree that delay is most likely to happen. Some confirmed that the company has advised them to stop mass production for two to three months. Apple even moved the usual June timeline to August.
Apple’s decision will not only affect its timeline but a lot of its global suppliers. Being one of the biggest tech companies, suppliers around the world will also take a massive hit. This would also mean that millions of production line jobs will be affected.
For now, Apple is monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak in the US and Europe as both markets combined account for around half of Apple’s sales. However, with the current situation, chances are high that delay will happen.
As of writing, COVID-19 cases reached over 500,000 around the globe, with the US having more than 85,000 cases surpassing that of China. Countries in Europe, on the other hand, are struggling to keep their numbers down.
In the Philippines, there are more than 700 cases reported. According to the Department of Health, the numbers will rise in the coming weeks because of the increase in testing.