Apple suppliers say no sign of delay to iPhone 12 production, deny PCB claim

Nikkei report this week suggested that Apple was considering a delay to iPhone 12 production, meaning the company would no longer hit the usual September timing. But some iPhone suppliers say there is no sign of a delay, and specifically take issue with one of Nikkei’s claims.

Taiwanese printed circuit board (PCB) suppliers say that they continue to work to the original schedule, with no word from Apple on a possible delay …

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Digitimes carries the report.

There has been speculation that Apple is looking to delay the launch of its next-generation iPhones due the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, but its PCB suppliers say they have not received any notification from the client about delaying production for the 5G iPhone […]

Taiwan’s PCB makers in the supply chain of 5G iPhones have denied reports claiming they have been asked to postpone volume production by two months in line with a likely launch delay for Apple’s new-generation devices amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to industry sources.

It should be noted that the two reports are not necessarily contradictory. Nikkei said only that Apple was discussing the idea, not that any decision had been made.

Apple is preparing the ground to possibly delay the launch of its first 5G iPhones as the coronavirus pandemic threatens global demand and disrupts the company’s product development schedule, sources familiar with the matter have told the Nikkei Asian Review.

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has held internal discussions on the possibility of delaying the launch by months, three people familiar with the matter said, while supply chain sources say practical hurdles could push back the release, originally scheduled for September.

Apple would obviously not inform suppliers until a decision has been made.

The Nikkei report itself contained contradictory claims, on the one hand stating:

Suppliers have not been officially notified of a possible change in the production timeline.

And on the other hand:

“We have been notified to start shipping in big volumes to meet Apple’s new product launch by the end of August, instead of like in previous years, when it would be sometime in June,” said a supplier of components related to printed circuit boards.

Today’s report specifically denies that second claim.

Personally, my money would be on a delay to iPhone 12 production and launch, for both supply and demand reasons.

Given the complexity of Apple’s supply-chain, it would only take a delay in one tiny component to put the schedule at risk. It would seem safer to delay now than risk a mess later.

On the demand side, signs are pointing to coronavirus lockdowns lasting months rather than weeks. The financial uncertainty that creates for consumers seems likely to severely dent sales prospects for an expensive piece of consumer electronics.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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