The company typically launches the next iPhone in September. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and all the subsequent supply constraint challenges, Apple has been forced to discuss whether it should delay launching it by a few months, according to a report from Nikkei.
Nikkei has a so-so track record when it comes to leaking Apple news focused on supply chain developments. It claimed a component supplier was told by Apple to start shipping "in big volumes" by August, instead of in June like in previous years. “The change was made very recently, and that could imply that the mass production of the phone could also be delayed for months," Nikkei reported.
The report even suggested a weakness in customer demand is pushing Apple to hit pause on the launch of the iPhone 12 "by months”. Plus, Apple's engineering of the prototypes has been hampered due to coronavirus-related restrictions. For instance, Apple hasn't been able to travel to China to work with factories on iPhone 12, which is widely expected to support 5G.
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The iPhone 12 range will technically have four new phones: A 5.4-inch iPhone, two 6.1-inch models, and a new 6.7-inch model. All should feature OLED displays and support for 5G networks. The two high-end ones might pack a triple camera system and a lidar sensor, too.
Nikkei said Apple will make its decision by May. At the latest, the release of the iPhone 12 could be delayed until 2021.