It is already expected that Apple may have some production and supply issues for the 2020 iPhones and iPads later this year but most probably expect that the cheaper iPhones won’t be so troubled. They were, after all, finalized before the COVID-19 broke out, or at least that’s what the leaks and sources claim. Now it seems that the iPhone 9 or iPhone SE 2, whatever it will be called, has only been finally verified this week. Worse, a key component has been pushed back to April, raising concerns about the phone’s initial supply.
The novel coronavirus has definitely thrown many industries into chaos and the global tech market is no exception. Complete shutdowns and slow restarts of factories and businesses have caused delays in production and shipment and health concerns have forced many global events to be canceled. Even Apple, who boasts about its “Designed in the US” iPhones, can no longer prevent the situation from affecting its future products.
DigiTimes reports that the cheaper iPhone has finally entered the final stage of validation in China. That may finally clear it for mass production except for one critical problem. It also reports that orders for the phone’s Printed Circuit Boards or PCBs have been deferred to the second quarter, probably due to the effects of the virus outbreak. The PCBs were initially intended to be ready within the first quarter.
This means that, even if Apple pushes through with an expected March 31 launch, supplies for the iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9 will be extremely low. It won’t be able to ramp up production until April. This delay could, in turn, affect production and sales of other new Apple products, all of which are already in danger of being delayed due to the same situation.
Apple might have problems not just with new units but even existing ones. Due to the same production situation, replacement units and repair parts for existing iPhone models are reportedly in short supply as well. Apple is optimistic, however, that things will clear up in two to four weeks, making April its magic month when everything will hopefully start to roll more smoothly.