Another day, another contradictory report about the iPhone 12 launch. So far, we have seen rumors pointing to the 5G iPhone 12 launch being delayed by as much as couple of months. Other rumors have claimed that the device is still on track for a September launch. A new Bloomberg report citing “people familiar with the matter” says that the 5G iPhone 12 launch is still scheduled for September.
This is primarily because the new iPhones are only scheduled to go into mass production by June. This gives Apple enough time to prototype the devices, iron out the issues, and then start the mass production. A key factor behind this is that Apple’s largest manufacturing partner Foxconn is back running its factories at full capacity in China after the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also offering hefty bonuses to sign up new workers. The report, however, does state that the disruption caused by the pandemic could delay the launch of other future products from Apple.
The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass production isn’t slated to begin until the summer, people familiar with matter have said. Yet the sort of assembly that Foxconn specializes in is but one part of Apple’s supply chain: the U.S. company and its partners spend months or even years sourcing components around the world and any disruptions to that complex network could delay future devices.
The report does not mention anything about the COVID-19 pandemic effect in the United States. Apple engineers need to travel to China where they work closely with various component suppliers and Foxconn on prototyping the next iPhone. This is currently not possible due to the international travel ban that is in effect due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Given the situation in the United States, the lockdown is expected to last until at least the end of April. This will definitely affect the iPhone 12 release timeline as until and unless the prototyping is done properly, the device cannot enter into mass production.[Via Bloomberg]