Apple warned investors last month that it expects to miss this quarter’s revenue targets because of the coronavirus impact on business. After speaking to five trusted sources, though, Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech
believes the outbreak has also started affecting Apple’s plans for the rest of the year.
The March event has been canceled
The Cupertino giant was planning to announce several new products at a fancy press conference later this month, as some of you may already know. But in light of the ongoing coronavirus situation, Apple has reportedly taken the decision to cancel its gathering.
It was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 31, with Phil Schiller in charge of things. Because the event plans were never officially announced, though, the company is unlikely to publicly confirm its decision to shelve it.
Apple planned to host attendees at the Steve Jobs Theater at its Silicon Valley headquarters in Santa Clara County, one of the worst affected areas in the United States. So much so that the local health officials have now banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people for the foreseeable future, meaning Apple's event would have been axed anyway.
Of course, the iPhone giant still has several products that need announcing. It now wants to get "creative" with the introductiones per sources and one option includes a digital press event, but at this stage of things simple press releases via the Apple Newsroom website seem more likely.
The iPhone 9 could be delayed by six months
Leading the way at Apple's big event were going to be the iPhone 9 and iPad Pro (2020). The latter is ready for launch and should proceed without any delays, but the same can't be said about the former.
Despite being two months behind schedule with everything iPhone related, Apple doesn't seem to have encountered any major issues with iPhone 9 production. But in a meeting yesterday it reportedly took the decision to delay the smartphone's release.
The reason for this being a lack of demand for smartphones across the globe at the moment. To put things into perspective, China is currently Apple's second-largest market behind the United States and iPhone sales in the region nosedived 60% in February
as the coronavirus outbreak worsened, per official government figures.
Apple is also trying to prevent large gatherings at its retail stores right now, something the iPhone 9 release would severely complicate.
A firm new launch schedule for the budget iPhone hasn't yet been set, although one source believes it could make an appearance in June, perhaps around the same time as WWDC, while another thinks a fall introduction is more likely.
Apple could push back the iPhone 12 too
The next big Apple gatherings this year are WWDC and the annual September event. The former hasn’t been canceled but it has been “modified” to include no face-to-face contact with developers, according to Prosser's sources.
That likely means it'll proceed in an online-only format. Of course, because the situation is constantly evolving, these plans could still change.
As for the all-important September event, it’s looking as though it will be delayed.
Because of the travel restrictions Apple placed on employees inside and outside China, prototype iPhone 12
testing has pretty much stopped. That means the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro probably won’t hit shelves until October or perhaps even November, therefore following in the footsteps of the iPhone X which wasn’t released until early November.