Apple could delay the launch of its 5G iPhone 12 ‘by months’ over fears of low sales and supply chain constraints during the coronavirus pandemic
- Sources told news site Nikkei that Apple is in talks to postpone iPhone 12 launch
- US-based firm is worried the coronavirus pandemic will see the phone flop
- Supply chain hurdles and a lac of appetite are the main two concerns for Apple
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Apple is reportedly thinking about delaying the launch of its upcoming 5G-enabled iPhone by several months as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.
According to sources close to the matter, the flagship iPhone 12 will be postponed as Apple is concerned customers will be uninterested in the device amid the global emergency.
The scheduled launch date of September is now likely to be missed due to ‘practical hurdles’ relating to the supply chain, Japanese news site Nikkei reports.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 22,000 people globally and the number of confirmed cases is nearing half a million.
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According to sources close to the matter, the upcoming iPhone 12 will be postponed as Apple believes customers will be relatively uninterested in the device amid the global emergency (file photo)
The outlet purportedly spoke to sources close to the matter inside Apple, who claim internal discussions have been held about potential postponement.
‘Supply chain constraint aside, Apple is concerned that the current situation would significantly lower consumer appetite to upgrade their phones, which could lead to a tame reception of the first 5G iPhone,’ a source told Nikkei.
‘They need the first 5G iPhone to be a hit.’
It is though Apple will make an official decision by May which will be informed by the most up-to-date analysis and forecasts available.
‘We are not giving it up yet. We are doing whatever we can to sort the issue out,’ a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Nikkei.
Apple has been hit hard by the outbreak of COVID-19 with factories and shops closing to prevent the contagion spread.
MailOnline has approached Apple for comment.
Chinese factories were forced to shut down for several weeks after COVID-19 spread from the original epicentre of Wuhan in the Hubei province
Apple is reportedly thinking about delaying the launch of its upcoming flagship 5G-enabled iPhone by several months as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic
It has previously been reported that the upcoming cheap iPhone, which may be called the SE2, will also be delayed by several weeks.
Chinese factories were forced to shut down after COVID-19 spread from the original ground-zero site of Wuhan in the Hubei province.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told analysts in January the company’s supply chain was being affected by the outbreak.
Mr Cook said the company was seeking ways to minimise supply disruptions despite some of its suppliers being in Hubei.
Most of Apple´s iPhones and other devices are made in China and the ripple effect on production is likely to be significant.
However, Europe and the US are now being ravaged by the virus and with millions of customers in these areas, it is unlikely a new phone will be a priority for many.
WHAT IS 5G AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
The evolution of the G system started in 1980 with the invention of the mobile phone which allowed for analogue data to be transmitted via phone calls.
Digital came into play in 1991 with 2G and SMS and MMS capabilities were launched.
Since then, the capabilities and carrying capacity for the mobile network has increased massively.
More data can be transferred from one point to another via the mobile network quicker than ever.
5G is expected to be 100 times faster than the currently used 4G.
Whilst the jump from 3G to 4G was most beneficial for mobile browsing and working, the step to 5G will be so fast they become almost real-time.
That means mobile operations will be just as fast as office-based internet connections.
Potential uses for 5g include:
- Simultaneous translation of several languages in a party conference call
- Self-driving cars can stream movies, music and navigation information from the cloud
- A full length 8GB film can be downloaded in six seconds.
5G is expected to be so quick and efficient it is possible it could start the end of wired connections.
By the end of 2020, industry estimates claim 50 billion devices will be connected to 5G.
The evolution of from 1G to 5G. The predicted speed of 5G is more than 1Gbps – 1,000 times greater than the existing speed of 4G and could be implemented in laptops of the future