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Kuo: iPhone 14 launch on schedule despite recent geopolitical tensions

Apple iPhone 13 Back

The iPhone 14 launch should happen in mid-September, right on schedule. We know as much from Apple’s recent earnings call, where the company did not mention any delays for the new iPhone. Apple warned buyers and investors about delays two years ago during the June 2022 earnings call. The initial pandemic lockdowns forced it to move the iPhone 12 launch to October.

Apple has had to deal with a round of lockdowns in China during the spring, which could have delayed the iPhone 14 launch. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued several reports on the matter to dispel delay worries. He signaled potential supply chain issues for the new iPhones in recent months. But also explained that Apple already had mitigating solutions in place to keep production on track.

Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week further fueled worries about iPhone 14 shipping issues and delays. Kuo is now back with reassurances that the geopolitical tensions will not affect the iPhone 14 launch schedule.

When will Apple launch the iPhone 14 series?

Apple should unveil the iPhone 14 series in about a month. Until recently, September 13th seemed like the most likely launch date for the handset. In such a case, the iPhone 14’s release date would be September 23rd.

But a report a few days ago said that Apple might hold the iPhone 14 launch keynote earlier than expected. The date of the virtual press conference might be September 6th. The release date would more forward by a week as a result. September 16th might be the day when the iPhone 14 hits stores and ships to buyers who preordered the handset.

iPhone 14 Pro 3D Renders
iPhone 14 Pro 3D renders: Color concepts. Image source: Technizo Concept and LetsGoDigital

Apple will only announce the iPhone 14 event a week before it happens, but not earlier than that. That’s August 30th, if the September 6th launch date is accurate.

The pandemic pushed the iPhone 12 launch by about a month, but Apple couldn’t ship all four phones simultaneously. Instead, it released the four handsets in two rounds. The same-size iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro shipped first. The mini and Pro Max followed a few weeks later.

Will there be any release delays?

Even before the pandemic, Apple had to deal with manufacturing issues for some iPhone versions. The iPhone X had an early November release date in 2017, despite being introduced during a September launch event. A year later, the iPhone XR fell behind the XS models.

We have no guarantees that all iPhone 14 models will ship on time after the launch event. Reports earlier this year said that at least one of the four models was behind schedule. That’s the brand new 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus/Max, which will replace the mini size.

Camera size: iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy unit (left) vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max (right).
Camera size: iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy unit (left) vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max (right). Image source: YouTube

Apple doesn’t comment on supply chain rumors. We’ll have to wait until the mid-September launch event to see how many of the four iPhone 14 units will be available for preorder after the keynote. And we’ll also look at how fast the new iPhones sell out after the show.

Ming-Chi Kuo has detailed a few purported iPhone 14 supply chain issues that Apple has had to deal with. They concern vital components, like the OLED panels and the LPDDR5 memory. Apple even had to fix camera manufacturing issues. The analyst said that Apple had backup plans for each component. The company shifted part orders to other suppliers who could fulfill the orders.

Political tensions and the iPhone 14 launch

Kuo took to Twitter again to address worries related to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week. China did not appreciate the Speaker of the House’s visit to the island, issuing a slew of retaliatory measures. These included military training exercises around Taiwan on a grander scale than before. China also cancelled a few key partnerships with the US and sanctioned Pelosi.

Some worried that China’s response would spill into commerce. The iPhone 14’s launch could be hurt as a result. Apple manufactures the iPhone in China primarily, with many of its key suppliers operating in the region.

Kuo now claims that these recent geopolitical tensions have not impacted the iPhone 14 supply chain. Therefore, Apple should launch and ship the iPhone 14 on time.

Although some investors have recently worried that the mass production and shipment schedule of the iPhone 14 models may be affected by geopolitics, my latest survey indicates that there are currently no impacts on the supply chain of the iPhone 14 models.

Apple has been diversifying its iPhone supply chain in recent years. The same Kuo did say last week that Apple is manufacturing the iPhone 14 in India at the same time as China. But India can’t match China’s iPhone output. And Foxconn will only manufacture the 6,1-inch iPhone 14 in the country.


More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.