Apple’s planned launch of its first 5G ready iPhone, the iPhone12, could be delayed by the current Covid19 epidemic, according to reports in the press.
A report by the Nikkei
news agency said that problems with supply chain disruption were causing the US tech giant to consider postponing the launch of the much anticipated handset.
“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,” said one of three sources quoted in the Nikkei report who is familiar with the matter.
Apple has spent most of the past 18 months locked in bitter legal proceedings with its preferred chip supplier, Qualcomm, over a range of intellectual property right violations. The pair have sued one another in a series of tit for tat court cases around the world. Whilst the dispute has now been settled and Apple and Qualcomm have resumed their working relationship, the legal wrangling have severely delayed Apple’s production of a 5G handset.
Apple is now only the third most prolific producer of smartphone handsets in the world, behind industry leaders Samsung and Huawei. Both Huawei and Samsung made their 5G handset debut months ago and have stolen a considerable march on their US rival.
One source told reporters from the Nikkei that an official launch date for the iPhone 12 may not be announced until after Apple’s home state of California has lifted its Covid19 lockdown.