Yet another report suggests Apple will have trouble meeting initial iPhone 9 demand
Although no one really knows how the coronavirus epidemic will evolve in the next few weeks and months, a number of financial analysts seem pretty confident the global public health crisis won't be contained soon enough so the tech industry can go back to normal in time for Apple to stick to a regular fall schedule for its next big iPhone release.
Others, however, remain largely focused on making short to mid-term predictions, including probably the most reliable and arguably the most prolific Apple analyst in the world. Reading between the lines of Ming-Chi Kuo's latest research note first reported on by MacRumors, we get the sense that his long-term expectation is that the iPhone 12 lineup will break cover in September and see no significant delays or shortages.
But the only thing Kuo is explicitly and firmly anticipating for now is a current iPhone production slowdown unlikely to pick up "until the second quarter of 2020." Of course, the beginning of Q2 is right around the corner, so that doesn't sound like such a big problem... as long as Apple manages to substantially ramp up manufacturing next month.
Then again, even if that happens (and that remains a big "if"), these supply chain issues have come at a rather inopportune time for the Cupertino-based tech giant. That's because the iPhone 9 (aka iPhone SE 2) has long and widely been expected to see daylight by the end of March. While an announcement and even limited release in the next few weeks are still possible, most analysts and insiders, Kuo included, seem to think there's no way Apple will be able to meet global demand right off the bat.
After all, this is a device tipped to combine a modern processor with an outdated design that however includes the beloved Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Add a reasonable price pointa bunch of factories either closed into the equation, and you'll immediately realize Apple can't possibly build as many units of this thing as it needs with a bunch of factories either closed or working at heavily reduced capacity right now due to public health concerns.