Surprising no one, it looks like Apple is delaying production on its flagship iPhones for 2020 due to weaker demand and supply chain disruptions stemming from the global pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal exclusive.
Analysts and Apple prognosticators have been speculating on some kind of delay for a while now, the Wall Street Journal report cites unnamed sources privy to the process. Usually, Apple announces its new flagship phones at its annual September event, with the phones going on sale later that month. For that to happen, Apple needs to start mass production by early summer. This year, it looks like Apple will likely push mass production for what media has unofficially dubbed the iPhone 12 by about a month.
Apple has undoubtedly been hit by complications arising from the novel coronavirus. Its stores around the world have been shuttered, though its 42 stores in China have since reopened. From the production side, it also appears that Apple’s engineering team was unable to travel to China due to travel restrictions—according to the WSJ, the team had to resort to video calls to direct prototype assemblies at Asian factories.
Right now, the estimated month-long delay isn’t much cause for concern. Not only has it been widely anticipated, but the company is also still on track for the new flagship iPhones to hit shelves before the holiday season. Even so, it looks like Apple is gearing up for the possibility that people may stave off buying a new phone this year. The company is apparently planning to cut phone production in the second half of 2020 by as much as 20 percent.
This wouldn’t be the first time an Apple product has arrived fashionably late. The iPhone X was delayed to November 2017 due to manufacturing delays related to the phone’s 3D sensors.
That said, whenever the iPhone 12 lands, there won’t be much that hasn’t already been leaked. We’ve already heard rumors of a flatter design harkening back to the iPhone 5, along with the possibility of a much smaller notch. There’s even a video floating around with supposed CAD renders of the phone. The Wall Street Journal report also echoes other rumors saying the new flagships will come in four models across three sizes—one 5.4-inch phone, two 6.1-inch phones, and one 6.7-inch phone—and that all will feature some kind of 5G compatibility, as well as OLED screens.