Apple is delaying mass-production of the iPhone 12 lineup by around one month, according to a Monday report from The Wall Street Journal.
Sources blame the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for the delay, which is likely to mean Apple’s next-generation handsets won’t be available until October. A trusted source for Cult of Mac recently made the same prediction.
“Apple Inc. is pushing back the production ramp-up of its flagship iPhones coming later this year by about a month, according to people familiar with the changes,” reads the report, which requires a WSJ subscription.
Sources blame weakened global demand, with consumers spending less on non-essential purchases during the pandemic — and on COVID-19 disruptions to key Apple manufacturing partners in Asia.
Expect an October debut
Recent reports have indicated Apple plans four different iPhone 12 models, in three different sizes, for a 2020 release. They’re all expected to offer faster 5G connectivity, Apple’s next-generation A14 chipset, and other big improvements.
It’s likely Apple would have been aiming to launch all four devices in September, as is tradition for flagship iPhone introductions. To meet that timeline, however, mass-production has to take place over the summer months.
That’s not going to happen this year, at least not at the rate Apple requires, thanks to the global pandemic. So, although Apple could still debut its newest handsets in September, we may not get our hands on them until October at the earliest.
Apple cuts iPhone 12 orders
In addition to delaying production, Apple has also slashed iPhone 12 orders, the report reveals. Sources say the number of units it plans to manufacture in 2020 has been reduced by as much as 20%.
Supply chain sources recently claimed Apple was pushing forward with what they believed were unrealistic iPhone 12 sales estimates. They warned, however, that Cupertino could revise its figures before mass-production began.
Today’s WSJ report echoes similar claims made by reliable TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and by a source for Cult of Mac, which both predicted an October launch for iPhone 12.
Long-time iPhone fans will remember a similar delays for iPhone X and iPhone XR. Both handsets were unveiled in September 2017, alongside iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, but they did not start shipping until October and November 2017.