Apple’s rumored ‘iPhone 9’ may see a delay in mass production due to coronavirus concerns

Rumors have been swirling for quite some time that Apple is planning to launch a “low-cost” iPhone at some point in the first half of 2020.

But a new report suggests that sustained concerns over the coronavirus may continue to impact Apple’s mass production of its newest iPhone model well into the month of April. Which, if that is indeed the case, would mean that Apple may miss its planned launch window for the smartphone that’s been called both the “iPhone 9” and “iPhone SE 2” for months now.

Nikkei has the report this afternoon, based on information gathered from unnamed sources. Those sources say that Apple was originally planning to start mass production of its new low-cost iPhone sometime in February. However, that will apparently not be the case now, and mass production for the handset is now expected to begin sometime in March. The sources state that it would be “very challenging” for Apple to keep up with its original production windows.

The suppliers are doing their best to produce and ship the [cheaper] iPhone within four weeks. …The delay can’t be too long, otherwise it will affect the sales strategy of Apple’s new products in the second half of this year,” one of the people, who has direct knowledge of the matter, told Nikkei.

On average, suppliers in the iPhone supply chain are currently operating at around 30% to 50% of capacity,” another source told Nikkei. “The constrained supply of iPhones will likely extend to April. There are still a lot of hurdles, from labor shortages to logistics transportation.

This latest report appears to fly right in the face of what we heard earlier this morning fromĀ Bloomberg, which stated that Apple’s plans to launch the iPhone 9/iPhone SE 2 in March. Couple that with the rumor that Apple is planning to host a media event on March 31 and then actually make the iPhone 9 available to buy on April 3, and it potentially gets a little dicey.

Nothing is substantiated by Apple at this point. However, the company did release a statement saying that the company will more than likely miss its quarterly revenue estimates due to the coronavirus. That could suggest Apple is starting to make some changes to its planned release schedules. It certainly helps that the company hasn’t officially announced any upcoming media events or product launches just yet.

Does this all mean we shouldn’t expect to see a new iPhone at the tail end of March or in early April? Not necessarily. If anything all of these reports about the impact the coronavirus has had on production (both already in motion and planned) show just how tight a schedule things will be for Apple and other companies in the months ahead.

If the iPhone 9/SE 2 does eventually see the light of day, do you plan on picking one up?