Over the past few months, there have been multiple reports of Apple facing delays in the development of its 2020 iPhone models due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it looks like Apple is trying to minimise the delay and launch the new iPhones earlier than expected by pushing ahead with mass production along its supply chain.
Typically, the iPhone’s product development and testing occurs early in the year. However, this year, with the travel restrictions and safety concerns, Apple’s engineers were unable to travel to China to validate and test many components for the new iPhones. This delayed the entire schedule by a few months, leading many to speculate a long delay in the launch date of the phone.
The 2020 iPhones will be Apple’s first 5G capable smartphones, making it an important device in its competition against Samsung and Huawei, who have already released 5G-capable devices this year. Apple is now apparently trying to cut down delays along the supply chain in order to ensure that the launch does not get delayed too much.
They are also predicting their demand to not be affected by the pandemic, which is evident by their 80 million units target for the 2020 iPhone models. New orders for older models of the iPhone (iPhone 11 series, iPhone XR and iPhone SE) have also been made, to keep the sales momentum going in-case the 2020 iPhones get further delayed.
A source in the industry commented, “What the progress looks like now is months of delay in terms of mass production, but Apple is doing everything it can to shorten the postponement. There’s a chance that the schedule could still be moved ahead.”