The upcoming iPhone 12 is widely expected to be the first 5G phone from Apple, which is taking its now customary conservative approach to implementing the new technology (it now trails behind everyone from Samsung to Huawei, who already have the best 5G phones out on the shelves).
However, it appears that 5G is one of the main contributing factors to the proposed delay, as it is important for the company's 5G debut to be a success. Though of course, the current situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – everything from its effect on manufacturing supply chain to consumer willingness to buy a new iPhone – is the primary factor.
"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," reported Nikkei Asian Review. "They need the first 5G iPhone to be a hit."
"The discussion is still at an early stage, and the fall launch is not completely off the table… But the 5G iPhone could be postponed to 2021 in the worst-case scenario."
Apple is one of the first manufacturers whose supply chains were reported to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Back in January we wrote about the situation causing potential delay to both the iPhone 12 and the iPhone SE 2 – the unannounced but widely anticipated entry level iPhone that was expected to be revealed imminently.
Nikkei Asian Review notes that development of the 5G iPhone was affected by recent travel bans. "The company was supposed to work with suppliers to develop a more concrete prototype for the new phones from early March, but it had to delay such close collaboration, which requires hands-on testing, until the end of the month, before postponing it again due to the worsening pandemic in the US".
Apple itself has remained predictably tight-lipped about the subject. As things stand, though, it does appear that we might not be seeing one of the best camera phones of 2020 until later than we had hoped.
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