- Apple could delay the launch of iPhone 12.
- iPhone 12 series will Apple's first 5G iPhone models.
- The coronavirus pandemic has made on-ground activities worse globally.
Apple could be mulling to defer the launch of iPhone 12 as the coronavirus pandemic has hit on-ground activities, including the production and global demand-supply. The Cupertino-based giant is said to have conducted internal discussions with the top officials to discuss the possibility of a delay in the iPhone launch. This delay could last for months without any concrete timelines, a report by Nikkei Asian Review has claimed. As per rumours to date, Apple is planning to launch three iPhone 12 models while an affordable iPhone 9 aka iPhone SE 2 is also on the cards.
According to the report, citing three sources familiar with the development, the production of the iPhone 12 is likely to be disrupted owing to the adverse situations across the globe caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Not only the on-ground activities have been halted sporadically, but the sales and other related activities also are also likely to be impacted. "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," noted the report citing a source who has direct knowledge of the discussion held between Apple officials.
The 2020 iPhone models that will belong to the premium range are expected to feature 5G support. The iPhone 12 is a crucial model because it will catapult Apple to the 5G club that is already occupied by brands such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Realme, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and others. Since 5G is the next cash cow for the tech and telecom industries, Apple does not want to let go of an opportunity to that is on the wane considering the current situation. Amid the pandemic, consumers will barely be convinced to upgrade their phones, which will eventually hamper the sales of the iPhone 12. "They need the first 5G iPhone to be a hit," said the source.
The iPhone 12 will have many new features, but the eyes are on the 5G capabilities that the phone is expected to feature. Apple is already two years behind its rivals, which makes the iPhone 12 even more important. In January, Apple laid out a plan for an aggressive production of the 5G iPhone, ordering suppliers to manufacture 100 million units of the four iPhone 12 series models for the year 2020, the source told the publication. The Tim Cook-led company is also said to be monitoring the outbreaks in the US and Europe, which are Apple's two most important markets that account for more than half of the sales driven by iPhone. The possibility of pushing back the iPhone 12 launch in both regions is also being considered by Apple.
Since a large chunk of the workforce at Apple is quarantined and working from home, the final decision on when the iPhone 12 will launch after the delay is at an impasse. It could only be decided after the order by the Californian government is lifted in the state, which solely depends on the level of intensity of coronavirus spread. "Apple will make a final decision around May at the latest, given the fluid situation globally," another source told Nikkei. Apple has declined to comment on the development at this point but an announcement might be made soon.