Apple is facing production delays on its lineup of iPhone 12 devices as the impact of COVID-19 comes to a head.
According to a report from Nikkei, Apple is currently making an aggressive push to cut down on the delays on mass production of the iPhone 12 line. The company is said to have four new devices in the works, pushing for 5G networking. However, Apple appears to be facing delays of “four weeks to two months”.
The impact of factory lockdowns and workplace absences has potentially thrown a wrench in Apple’s roadmap for releasing the iPhone 12. That being said, the company has been aggressive in getting its suppliers back on track. According to Nikkei’s sources, Apple has “cut delays and was now less likely to face a worst-case scenario of postponing the launch until 2021, the situation it was in three months ago.”
It appears as though to make up for lost time, Apple and its suppliers are working overtime. One source said: “What the progress looks like now is months of delay in terms of mass production, but Apple is doing everything it can to shorten the postponement.”
What that means for Apple’s launch of the iPhone 12 still remains to be seen. Typically, the new flagship models are announced and released in September. Another source told Nikkei that “Some final iPhone assembly could be delayed to early October.”
This could mean that all four of the rumoured iPhone 12 models will be delayed a month or two from schedule. However, depending on supplier fulfillment, Apple may opt for a staggered release, having a model or two release at first and usher in the remaining models when made available. Of course, the third option could be that limited stock could become a reality. Apple may only have the means to slowly ship pre-orders during the Fall season.
Apple is also preparing to drive customers towards older models. The company has asked suppliers to build more than 45 million older models, including the iPhone XR and iPhone SE as cheaper alternatives.
We’ll likely not have official confirmation on this matter until Apple hosts its keynote later this year, whether in September or at a later date.