Apple could face supply constraints when launching the iPhone 12 later this year, according to a new paywalled report via DigiTimes which suggests Apple’s next-generation devices may not enter mass production on schedule as a result of the coronavirus.
The report claims a combination of Apple’s ban on non-“business critical” travel to China, along with a backlog of orders for the rumored low-cost “iPhone SE 2”/“iPhone 9”, is leaving engineers unable to travel to Asia to conduct Engineering Validation Tests (EVT) ahead of June when Apple typically sends its upcoming iPhone models into production.
Manufacturing plants have gradually been reopening since the Chinese government ordered factories to cease work in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, however component suppliers and a reduced workforce is believed to be causing a bottleneck in Apple’s supply chain, so much so that iPhone shipment forces have been cut for the first quarter of 2020 by 10 percent to 36-40 million units.
The extent of the coronavirus on Apple’s product line remains to be seen. The chances are that Apple will announce the iPhone 12 on schedule in September however the actual release of the devices may be delayed until November, with availability likely to be low during the holiday shopping season.
The report will be published tomorrow.