Although there were already signs that Apple’s supplies would be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the general presumption has been that the company would push through with its scheduled product launch even if it meant starting off with limited supplies. Now the word from insiders in Apple’s supply chain isn’t exactly hopeful. Apple’s first 5G-capable iPhone could be delayed beyond its initial September launch date and could extend even to 2021 at the extreme latest.
It’s pretty understandable if Apple holds off on launching a 5G iPhone given the current global situation. Considering it’s already late to the 5G party, it has to make sure that its launch will be a huge success. Buying a 5G smartphone might not be at the top of most people’s priorities for now, though.
It’s not like Apple was able to actually finish that 5G iPhone due to limitations on travel. It had to delay even the development of prototypes which required face-to-face meetings with suppliers and hands-on testing. It could still happen but not before travel bans and quarantines are lifted.
Suppliers in China havineve reportedly also gotten notified of changes in the production schedule. They are told to start shipping in large volumes by August instead of the usual June schedule. This inevitably means that production for the iPhones will start late as well.
The delay could just be a month or two but it could even extend to 2021, depending on the global situation in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, a delay in Apple products doesn’t only affect the company itself but all other production companies connected to it as well as, of course, their workers.