The next iPhone could be delayed a month, as pandemic wears on

The latest budget iPhone arrived this month to largely positive reviews. The next flagship, on the other hand, may have to wait. The COVID-19 pandemic is having all manner of knock-on effects on the global economy, and the supply chain is certainly not immune.

The Wall Street Journal this morning is reporting that the iPhone 12 may be among the devices impacted by unexpected issues. Apple is “pushing back the production ramp-up” of the new devices, per the report, owing to manufacturing issues in Asia and “weakened global consumer demand.”

This follows a number of similar reports of delays, with some putting the flagship smartphone’s launch at December, instead of the usual September/October timeframe. The current report, would likely put the phone’s release at around November — in line with that of the iPhone X. The company, unsurprisingly, hasn’t commented on the matter. The company doesn’t often comment on supply issues for released products, let alone those that are months away.

Asia was the first to be hit by the pandemic, and while a number of areas have returned to some semblance of business as usual, issues still remain. Beyond that, Apple (like all manufacturers) will have to grapple with the changing face of consumer wants/needs in the face of a pandemic and widespread stay-at-home orders. For many areas, those are expected to continue at least until the summer. 

Those are compound overall slowing smartphone demand, putting manufactures in a tough spot. Prior to COVID-19, however, Apple was no doubt anticipating an uptick in demand with the expected arrival of its first 5G handset. For now, however, it seems best to expect the unexpected.