COVID-19 won't delay 2020 iPhone lineup, but future products could suffer

Yolanda Curtis
April 1, 2020

However, suppliers are still anxious about how much demand there will be for both the current and the new iPhone models expected in fall 2020.

Apple is on schedule to release its range of 5G iPhone models in fall, according to a report from Bloomberg which dismisses earlier claims by supposed manufacturing sources that speculated the launch of Apple's 2020 iPhone line could be delayed "by months,". Now, Reuters reports that while Apple's supply chain is up and running in China, suppliers are anxious about demand and a potential iPhone 12 delay.

"No one is talking about manpower or material shortage (in China) anymore". Everyone has their focus now on fulfilling the demand of the phones by the US and European customers.

Estimates from contract assemblers are that the number of orders of Apple products may drop by 18% in this quarter compared to this time previous year. Sadly, the same can not be said for other Apple releases.

The company could also yet face further supply chain problems as countries including Malaysia and Vietnam impose new restrictions to combat the coronavirus. In other words, Apple hopes that the production impact would be very reduced to a point where a delay isn't necessary.

Taipei-based technology analyst Arthur Liao of Fubon Research cut iPhone shipment forecasts for this year's first quarter to 35 million units, down 17% from 41 million units a year ago. The outbreak has been worsening in the recent weeks, with more than 139,700 confirmed cases and 2,429 deaths.

But if the situation worsens, the respondents were evenly split, with roughly one-third each saying they would spend less, the same or more on consumer electronics when conditions returned to normal.

Another Apple device hangs in the balance these days.

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