To say that the iPhone 12 release date is a moving target would be a huge understatement. A recent report said that a coronavirus pandemic could push the launch to 2021 at worst, but now there could be some good news.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, "the next iPhone with 5G wireless capabilities remains on schedule to launch in the fall." That's because mass production isn't planned until the summer, at least according to people "familiar with the matter."BERLIN WEATHER
Note that the report is talking about the fall, not September. Last year's iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max all went on sale September 20. But there is precedent for a late fall release, the iPhone X had a November 2017 release date.
Bloomberg's latest report focuses on Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn. The company says it has resolved a labor shortage related to the COVID-19 outbreak and is now returning to "normal seasonal production capacity."
Last Friday, Digitimes reported that, "PCB suppliers say they have not received any notification from a customer about a production delay for the 5G iPhone. However, the same report said that "demand uncertainty is leading to difficulties in recruiting workers."
These latest reports contradict what we heard last week - that the iPhone 12 could be delayed by months in a Nikkei Asian Review report. And the source cited "significantly lower consumer appetite for upgrading their phones."
In other words, Apple needs the iPhone 12 - its first 5G iPhone - to be a hit, and it may decide to delay the release even if it has enough devices produced to launch in the fall.
Samsung has already seen 60% fewer sales for the Samsung Galaxy S20 series compared to the Galaxy S10 last year, and in February Apple lowered its own quarterly guidance based on the coronavirus pandemic. And that was before the disease spread even faster around the world. At last count, there were nearly 700,000 COVID-19 cases and 33,106 deaths, including more than 122,000 cases in the United States.
The latest Bloomberg report also warns that while the iPhone 12 appears to be on track, any disruption to Apple's network of partners could delay future devices. Those devices likely include a new Apple TV, Apple Watch 6, a new iPad and a new 13-inch MacBook Pro.