Apple has had a rough 24 hours, and now it just got worse for Apple and millions of iPhone fans.
Kicking things off is a statement from Apple warning investors that it will no longer meet its Q2 2020 revenue guidance due to the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus. The company confirms that manufacturing is constrained and production is “ramping up more slowly than we had anticipated” while demand has also (understandably) been affected in China. But that’s just the start.
Painting a darker picture is prominent Asian news site Nikkei, which reveals that the launch of Apple’s exciting new iPhone SE2 / iPhone 9 is now “likely” to be badly affected. But the real shock is Nikkei states it could even impact the iPhone 12 launch later this year.
“The suppliers are doing their best to produce and ship the [cheaper] iPhone within four weeks…The delay can’t be too long, otherwise it will affect the sales strategy of Apple’s new products in the second half of this year,” revealed a Nikkei source with direct knowledge of the matter.
For the iPhone 9, the hit is immediate. Nikkei says mass production was set to start in February but now “multiple sources say meeting that target is now very challenging and production could be delayed until sometime in March.” Will Apple stick to the iPhone 9 March launch when it has no stock to sell afterwards? Possibly, but it would go against the grain of the company’s ethos which is to deliver wide availability on day one.
For the iPhone 12, concerns deepen thanks to another Nikkei source who explains that “The constrained supply of iPhones will likely extend to April. There are still a lot of hurdles, from labor shortages to logistics transportation. The biggest uncertainty is still lingering as no one can be sure whether the coronavirus is under control.”
And this all comes at a time Apple’s increasingly ambitious iPhone 12 plans were taking shape. The next-generation iPhone range will not only be the company’s first 5G models, they will deliver major upgrades to all core features, including a 120Hz ProMotion display (with new screen sizes) a long-range 3D camera capable of mapping your immediate environment, an A14 chipset tipped to match the MacBook Pro and some even expect the return of Touch ID via an in-display sensor to work in conjunction with Face ID (here’s why).
That said, it’s important to keep things in perspective. The human tragedy of the Coronavirus is stark and perhaps the biggest threat to its control is companies losing perspective, rushing workers back and causing an even bigger outbreak.
iPhones can wait.