Apple is considering the possibly of delaying the launch of its first 5G iPhones as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic disrupts the company’s production schedule and threatens global demand, Nikkei Asian Review reports, citing “sources familiar with the matter.”
The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has held internal discussions on the possibility of delaying the launch by months, three people familiar with the matter said, while supply chain sources say practical hurdles could push back the release, originally scheduled for September. “Supply chain constraint aside, Apple is concerned that the current situation would significantly lower consumer appetite to upgrade their phones, which could lead to a tame reception of the first 5G iPhone,” said a source with direct knowledge of the discussion.
Apple is closely monitoring the outbreaks in the U.S. and Europe, its two largest markets that together account for more than half of its sales, and assessing whether a delay is necessary, the sources told Nikkei… “Apple will make a final decision around May at the latest, given the fluid situation globally,” another person told Nikkei.
Suppliers have not been officially notified of a possible change in the production timeline, and Apple is even urging many of them to make up for time lost due to coronavirus-related disruptions. “We are not giving it up yet. We are doing whatever we can to sort the issue out,” a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Nikkei.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple really doesn’t want to miss the Christmas shopping season, so such a delay is obviously the worst-case scenario, which proper planning requires be considered and, of course, the situation upon which news reports would focus, but not necessarily the eventual outcome.