The iPhone 12 looks set to be a powerhouse. Apple’s first 5G iPhone could be the most radically-overhauled iPhone in generations, eliminating the notch in favour of a highly advanced punchhole camera and boasting a huge 4,400mAh battery and 64MP rear camera array.
However, in order to get into customer’s hands, it’s got to face challenges even its super-advanced tech can’t overcome.
Like the rest of the tech industry, Apple has been plagued by coronavirus. Bloomberg reported that Bank of America, citing Apple supply chain analyst Elliot Yan, believes Apple’s 5G iPhone could face delays by up to “a few months” over “both supply issues as well as the weaker demand environment from COVID-19”.
Coronavirus has disrupted supply chains in China, forcing factories to close as workers go into isolation. It’s not just smartphones feeling the pinch: companies like Microsoft have had tablet and laptop manufacture disrupted, while Nintendo are short of accessories for the Nintendo Switch. Meanwhile, James Bond film No Time To Die has been delayed from April until November. The much-anticipated iPhone 12 is only the latest casualty.
One of Apple’s production sites for the iPhone 12 said it expects to resume normal production by March, while another analyst in the Bloomberg report claimed Apple’s supply chain is seeing a faster recovery than expected.The “risk of a major supply shock” is said to be declining.
However, there’s no telling what could happen: should coronavirus risks continue to rise, we should expect to see further drops in supply across the tech industry, coupled with longer delays as companies like Apple struggle to meet demand.
If the iPhone 12 is further delayed, this could give rivals such as Samsung an open goal. With its flagship Samsung Galaxy S20 series already hitting shelves and its Samsung Galaxy Note 20 set to launch in July, months without a new iPhone could see iOS users migrating to Android rather than waiting.
As a coronavirus media frenzy whips the world into a panic, fans waiting patiently for the iPhone 12 to drop this year might be out of luck. In the meantime, you’d best distract yourself from this disappointing news by learning proper hand-washing etiquette.