Coronavirus May Postpone Apple iPhone 12 Launch This Year: Report
This year’s iPhone launch event could become the latest victim of the production shutdown in China.
Apple’s iPhones are manufactured by Foxconn in China and the company is likely to be concerned about this year’s product launch timeline, if the ongoing coronavirus outbreak doesn’t abate in the coming months.
According to a Reuters report on Wednesday, the Cupertino-based giant is facing a race against time to find solutions, or else, the launch of the iPhone 12 this year will have to be pushed beyond September.
Sources quoted in the report suggest if Apple’s engineers haven’t been able to finalise the components for the upcoming devices with its vendor in China by now, the whole product planning process could be delayed.
It is also mentioned that Apple usually begins production of new models in the summer, when its engineers travel to China in order to take a closer look at the product development.
But because of the coronavirus outbreak in China, flights to-and-from the US have been suspended. Which is why, it’s hard to ascertain if Apple’s engineers are already there, and if so, are they able to operate or have they been quarantined as well?
“Are Apple's engineers with the Foxconn engineers? If they are, they're probably making progress. But if they're not, if they're quarantined, that could be bad,” says one of the sources quoted in the report.
The US tech giant has already warned that iPhone supplies worldwide would also be impacted, underlining the economic cost of the health crisis. "We are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated," Apple said in a statement.
It said that worldwide iPhone supply would be "temporarily constrained" as its manufacturing partners in China were only slowly ramping up work after being closed due to the virus.
Consumer demand in the crucial Chinese market has also been dampened after all Apple stores were shut. "Stores that are (now) open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic," the company said.
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