Apple has delayed the mass production of its next iPhone by “about a month”, according to a new report published by the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Recent leaks had suggested that Apple was still on course to release its next-gen smartphones during the usual annual window in late Q3, but that could now be difficult.
The new report claimed that the disruption caused by the coronavirus has hit the company’s production roadmap and that even if the iPhone ‘12’ is announced in September, some models may not be available soon afterwards.
Apple’s plans for the new iPhone are more ambitious than normal as analysts expect four fresh models to be unveiled before the end of the year.
There are rumoured to be two new screen sizes in 2020, with a larger 6.7-inch and smaller 5.4-inch iPhone joining two 6.1-inch models.
The report claims that the “flagship” iPhones are expected to be affected by the latest delay, but there is no indication of what models those are.
Apple released more of a mid-range iPhone last year, the 11, with a 6.1-inch LCD display, and recently launched a budget-focused 4.7-inch iPhone SE.
Analysts believe that all of the new models will have OLED screens and a new design, which will be the first in a new “super cycle” of upgrades for Apple’s smartphones.
The addition of ultrafast 5G mobile this year could also make the task of hitting expected release dates more challenging.
Apple has managed to keep its release schedule on track thus far, though analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the global pandemic to lead to a 10-15% reduction in iPhone shipments.
Bank of America and JPMorgan have also recently claimed that the new 5G iPhone could be delayed by up to several months due to the virus.
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