Analysts say that if the iPhone 12 line is delayed by 2021, it will be a disaster for Apple.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused many iPhone production lines in China to stall. Although some factories have been re-operated, their capacity has not yet been fully restored.
That has affected Apple’s product launch plans. Besides the iPhone 9 being delayed, the iPhone 12 series expected to introduce in September may suffer a more catastrophic fate. According to Wedbush analysts , the worst case scenario is that the iPhone 12 line will be pushed back to 2021.
Accordingly, Wedbush estimates that the plants will restore capacity in June. If that happens, the iPhone 12 line with 5G network will not be able to hit shelves in 2020, causing iPhone sales in China to plummet due to 5G smartphone demand is on the rise. Meanwhile, the iPhone 9 series is expected to sell in June or July.
In other words, Apple will have to put all faith in the iPhone 9 line if the iPhone 12 is pushed back to 2021.
Major rivals such as Samsung and Huawei have introduced 5G smartphones since 2019. That’s why Apple wants to invest heavily in the iPhone 12 with the goal of reaching 100 million units by 2020.
However, 9to5mac identified the above scenario as unlikely. Instead, the biggest possibility is that the iPhone 12 series is delayed to October. Although sales may decline, Apple can still save the situation thanks to the year-end shopping season.
Not only in China, production of iPhones in India was also disrupted when the Prime Minister announced an order to blockade the complicated movements of Covid-19 in 21 days from March 26. Bloomberg reports that both iPhone assembly plants in India have complied with the closure order, including Foxconn and Wistron Corp.
Another factor influencing the progress of iPhone production is that many Apple employees are required to work from home under quarantine requirements from the California government. Until the quarantine order is lifted, Apple can close the time for iPhone development accurately, no later than in May.
From the partner, some companies also shared information from Apple about the delay of production in 2-3 months.
Faced with this situation, the launch of the iPhone 12 and release it as planned every year is considered a “very optimistic” possibility.
Data from the Chinese government shows that Apple sold only 494,000 iPhones in February, down 60% from the same period last year (1.27 million) and less than a quarter of pre-Tet sales.
Apple forecasts first-quarter revenue of 2020 will reach $ 63-67 billion thanks to the best-selling iPhone 11 line during the holiday season at the end of 2019. However, Apple acknowledges that it cannot reach that target due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak.