Just days after a rumoured delay to Apple’s next-gen 5G iPhone, a Bloomberg report claimed on Monday that the new device is still set to launch later this year.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has been a significant road bump for Apple as it has affected its manufacturing capabilities and supply chains, a disruption that was believed to have forced the company to push its 5G iPhone into 2021.
However, that may not be the case, according to Bloomberg, which cited sources claiming that the premium smartphone could still be unveiled at Apple’s annual event in Q3 and go on sale soon afterwards.
The change in forecast is due to the improving situation in China, where core production facilities are starting to get back up to speed following the lockdown and restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the virus.
“Signs are that Apple’s Chinese-centric manufacturing – of which Hon Hai is the linchpin – is slowly getting back on track,” the sources said.
Mass production for the iPhone with 5G wireless capabilities is not scheduled to begin until the summer, so there is still time for Apple to hit its originally planned launch date.
The primary assembly plant in Zhengzhou is also trying to attract new workers with signing bonuses as it attempts to bolster its workforce for the rest of the year.
Apple does have ambitious production plans for the 5G iPhone as four models are expected to be announced.
These include a smaller 5.4-inch model, alongside two larger 6.1-inch and one 6.7-inch models, which are also expected to feature OLED displays.
There may also be a reworked design with the larger notch minimised and a flat metal frame similar to the recently launched iPad Pro.
However, Bloomberg did note that disruption to other future devices is possible due to issues with Apple’s wider supply chain network.
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