The coronavirus is disrupting Apple’s annual planning. Informants report that the event planned for the end of March will not take place. And the iPhone 12 may arrive later than anyone expected.
At Apple, the year is usually strictly timed: there is usually an event in the spring (often in March), the WWDC global developer conference takes place in early June, and the next generation iPhone is introduced in mid-September. But this year everything is probably different: Due to the coronavirus, numerous important events around the world are cancelled – and according to experts, Apple is not saved.
When will iPhone 9 be released?
It has been rumored for a long time that Apple wanted to introduce, among other things, a low-priced iPhone 9 and a new generation of the Apple TV streaming box in March. However, it is now becoming increasingly clear that there will not be a big event like last year, when Apple unveiled its own streaming service. However, the devices seem to be finished and need to be put on the stores.
One option would be for Apple to announce the new products through a press release, as it did last year, and then pre-order them directly from the online store. The company recently handled things similarly with the AirPods Pro. However, it is also conceivable that Apple will postpone the launch of some products for several weeks and wait until the economic situation has calmed down a bit.
Riddles around the WWDC
The WWDC World Development Conference could also take a different course than in previous years. Normally, Apple opens the week-long event with a giant speech in front of more than 5000 spectators. However, this seems questionable at this point: Such an event would not only be an unnecessary risk for visitors, but also for all Apple managers and engineers involved in the development of new products and operating systems.
In addition, Google and Facebook have already cancelled similar events that were originally scheduled for May. The E3 video game show scheduled for June will also not be held from June 9-11 as planned due to the coronavirus. It is unlikely that Apple will hold the conference as in previous years – unlikely. However, it would be conceivable for Apple to hold a mini-event in front of employees and press representatives and broadcast it live.
The iPhone 12 could come later
According to media reports, even the launch of the iPhone 12 in September is on the verge. Because of the coronavirus, Apple engineers cannot travel to China, which is causing delays in prototype development. Typically, so-called engineering verification tests (EVTs) are completed in the spring, so mass production of the devices can begin in the summer. As testing is taking longer due to travel blocks, the start of production is also being postponed, making it increasingly difficult to meet the mid-September target date.
Some experts predict that the iPhone 12 will be launched in October or even November. However, there is no proof of this so far. It is quite possible that Apple’s boss Tim Cook will stick to his original plans, but the contingent of devices for the launch will be extremely limited.
From an economic point of view, the iPhone 12 will be Apple’s most important device of the year. Rumor has it that it will be Apple’s first phone with 5G support. Analysts expect demand to be particularly strong and predict 200 million iPhone sales in the first fiscal year. However, calculations at the time did not take into account the consequences of the coronavirus.