Apple has apparently had a change of heart after indefinitely delaying the iPhone SE 2, also referred to as the iPhone 9. According to Front Page Tech analyst Jon Prosser, Apple has put the handset into mass production.
If correct, this reflects just how rapidly the supply chain situation is changing in China. From factories being shut down completely in February, companies like Foxconn are now reportedly back on track.
In a series of tweets Wednesday, Prosser said that Apple is working with Chinese manufacturer BYD in China to “spread out production and move faster.”
In the same tweet thread, Prosser confirmed that the 5G iPhones scheduled for later this year have been delayed. “There is a 5G iPhone 12, but it’s majorly delayed. May not see it until November,” he wrote.
Provided that Prosser is right, it’s not clear exactly when the iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 will make its debut. Apple was originally rumored to debut it at a keynote event in March. However, this year’s event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Apple released a batch of new products yesterday, which ordinarily might have been unveiled during a keynote.
Since Apple could allow whatever length of time it wants between showing off the device and shipping it, it could theoretically debut it any time. Production on the device has been completed, meaning that Apple has a finished model. All that’s needed is mass production.
The iPhone SE 2
A 4.7-inch iPhone — a follow-up to the iPhone SE — has been heavily rumored for some time. Reported to cost $399, the device will reportedly use the same design as iPhone 8. However, it will pack a faster A13 Bionic processor and more RAM.
This would make it a great iPhone for Apple to sell in developing markets, where its lower (for Apple) cost would make it more accessible to customers.