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iPhone 12 release and iPhone 9 reportedly delayed due to coronavirus

Published Mar 9th, 2020 8:52AM EDT

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  • Apple’s iPhone 12 series will feature the first big iPhone redesign in three years, and it’s the most hotly anticipated smartphone release of 2020.
  • Four new iPhone 12 models are expected to debut this coming September and a fifth new iPhone model — the iPhone 9 — is believed to be ready for a reveal even sooner, perhaps as early as the end of March.
  • According to multiple reports, the novel coronavirus outbreak will delay Apple’s iPhone 12 release as well as the iPhone 9 release, which was expected in early April.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Apple’s planned iPhone 12 release is still more than six months away, but the upcoming new iPhone series is already the most talked-about phone series in the world right now. iPhones always get tons of buzz each and every year, of course, but the iPhone 12’s early hype is particularly interesting because 2020 should be a year that people are more focused on Android phones. After a couple of years where Android smartphones got a bit dull, this year we’re seeing nifty new designs become more popular. Samsung’s hole-punch display style is being used much more widely — in fact, just about every Android vendor is copying it — and there are finally a few foldable smartphones launching this year that have better designs than last year’s Galaxy Fold, which was a mess from start to finish. And yet despite all that, the iPhone 12’s leaked design overhaul seems to have captured everyone’s attention.

There’s no question that Apple fans are in for a treat this year thanks to a sleek new iPhone 12 design, but a huge iPhone 12 leak last week suggested that the next-generation iPhone series will feature far more upgrades than just the phone’s design. But now, following reports that Apple’s iPhone 9 release will likely be delayed due to manufacturing complications brought about by the novel coronavirus outbreak, multiple reports from independent sources suggest that Apple’s iPhone 12 release will be delayed as well.

According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s iPhone 12 series will feature an exciting redesign that will look like a modern, supersized iPhone 5 with flat metal edges and the same (almost-)all-screen design from the iPhone X, iPhone XR/XS, and iPhone 11 series. What’s more, the new flagship iPhone lineup will reportedly consist of four new models instead of three, including two iPhone 12 models and two iPhone 12 Pro models. Unfortunately, it’s beginning to look like all four of those new iPhone 12 models and the fifth new iPhone Apple has planned for earlier this year will all be delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Where the iPhone 9 (or iPhone SE 2, as it’s sometimes called) is concerned, a quick note from a source with a good track record states that Apple’s planned March event has been canceled. This comes on the heels of earlier reports that said the iPhone 9 release would be delayed by at least a month.

As far as Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro release goes, we have even more bad news there. First, Bloomberg relayed a report over the weekend from Bank of America analysts who said that the release of Apple’s “5G iPhone” will be delayed by at least a month. From the report:

Bank of America wrote that Apple’s highly anticipated 5G iPhone could see its fall release delayed by a month as a result of the outbreak. The firm cited a conversation with an expert on the company’s supply chain, Elliot Lan. Lan also expects the launch of the iPhone SE2 will be delayed “by a few months” due to “both supply issues as well as the weaker demand environment from COVID-19.”

So that’s another claim that the iPhone 9/SE 2 release is being pushed back, and bad news for the iPhone 12 as well. As a reminder, all four of Apple’s new iPhone 12 models are expected to feature support for 5G cellular networks and they’ll be the first iPhones to include 5G.

Now, we can add another claim to the list on Monday morning. Digitimes cites supply chain sources in reporting that Apple’s ban on engineers flying to and from the Asian region will delay iPhone 12 development and is therefore to push back Apple’s iPhone 12 release by at least a month.

Related supply chain makers had originally expected the rescheduled EVT procedures to be carried out by the end of March enabling the kick-off of volume production of the new ‌iPhone‌ devices in June, said the sources, adding that a further delay of EVT tests to the end of April could postpone the volume production by another 1-2 months.

Judging from the revised EVT schedule, Apple’s product launch for the next-generation ‌iPhone‌ devices could be postponed to October, said the sources.

As they say, where there’s smoke there’s fire, and there’s a whole lot of smoke right now surrounding the notion that all of Apple’s 2020 iPhone models will be delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.