“The iPhone 9, or iPhone SE 2, was slated to launch at an event on March 31st, but has now been postponed indefinitely”
Apple has reportedly decided to postpone the planned iPhone 9 launch event. Reports on the matter have stated that while the event was originally scheduled for March 31st, Apple has now had to cancel it since Santa Clara County in the US has banned mass gatherings in the area for the time being owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Apple was so far expected to go ahead with the launch of the new device as planned but release smaller numbers of the iPhone 9 units in the market, but it seems it has now been forced to postpone the event due to health restrictions that are gradually being imposed worldwide.
Alongside the iPhone 9 launch getting postponed, Apple is also facing a potential delay in the launch timeline of the iPhone 12. Apple’s flagship iPhones are typically launched in September, for which Apple executives travel to China at around this time of the year to complete engineering validation tests (EVTs) of the new devices and give the final go-ahead for production. Now, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Apple has issued a travel ban for all employees to mainland China, which looks set to continue until at least April. Because of this, a considerable delay is expected to occur in the production timeline of the new iPhones, which in turn may delay the overall timeline of the launch of the new 5G-capable iPhone 12 models.
Apple had initially expected 2020 to be a big year for its devices business. With the success of the iPhone 11 easily visible to everyone, Apple was gunning for increased sales thanks to the mid-range iPhone 9 slated to launch by the end of this month, followed by the first 5G iPhones by the end of this year. Now, however, the market conditions look dubious as launches get postponed and both the supply and assembly chains of Apple’s partner vendors in China take a considerable hit due to coronavirus. Earlier last month, Apple’s key manufacturing partner Foxconn was said to be offering perks in order to get its workers back to the factories. As lockdown protocols are gradually relaxed in China, employees still remained away from work in fear of the coronavirus.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the shifted timelines of launch affect Apple’s overall business. Apple has already reduced revenue targets for the present quarters and alerted investors of the overall impact of the coronavirus on its business, and the upcoming quarters are also likely to face a similar effect solely due to the pandemic.