Pandemic delays Apple’s 5G iPhone launch — report
While Apple and its suppliers appear to have played a good game to mitigate the damage, Nikkei reports mass production of the iPhone 12 range may not begin until early October, delaying launch for a few weeks.
What Nikkei is saying
The report describes mass production delays of up to two months on account of lockdowns, supply chain challenges and the fact key Apple engineers have been unable to travel.
These events take place during months of pandemic chaos, crisis and insecurity across markets and the supply chain and previous claims the devices may ship very late indeed.
Though the fact that any such delays aren’t longer is a testament to the team, though the situation remains volatile, the report suggests – though Apple’s teams are focused on making up time.
“What the progress looks like now is months of delay in terms of mass production, but Apple is doing everything it can to shorten the postponement. There’s a chance that the schedule could still be moved ahead,”
“Some final iPhone assembly could be delayed to early October, and it wouldn’t be surprising if there are further delays because there are still a lot of tests going on now and the final designs have not yet been locked down,” a Nikkei source said. (Italics mine).
The report explains that Apple has worked hard to prevent the device being delayed into 2021, which might have happened.
The company is thought to be investing in millions of units of current models to fill the gap.
What to expect
Apple is expected to introduce four iPhone 12 models (5.4-inch, two 6.1-inch and one 6.7-inch handsets). Some of these will run 5G.
There has been speculation of an iPhone SE Plus, though whether this is one of these models is unknown.
We shall wait and see what actually happens, but if Apple has managed to navigate all this turbulence to the extent of just a few weeks delay, then that seems like a good achievement – and it wouldn’t be the first time a new iPhone has actually begun shipping in November.
I’m pretty certain it will still sell a few whenever it ships.