The iPhone 9 gets priced again, but coronavirus threatens its release date

The iPhone 9 gets priced again, but coronavirus threatens its release date
Apple is changing tack with its iPhone strategy this year, and will be releasing a rock bottom affordable (for Apple's standards, that is) iPhone 9 for those nostalgic types who lust after the physical home key and the manageable size of those iOS handsets of yesteryear.

As a reminder, the iPhone 9 is expected to come in an iPhone 8 package, with the same 4.7" 1334×750 pixels LCD display and physical Touch ID button, 12MP camera, and sport Apple's current A13 Bionic chipset champion, 3 gigs of RAM and 64GB storage at its base option.

Apple iPhone 9 price takes off at iPhone SE levels


Said nostalgia-driven (or budget-driven) Apple fans will be able to have the iPhone 9 for the low price of $399, said one rumor. Well, that rumor just got corroborated by Fast Company sources from the supply chain, who confirmed that the next iPhone will cost as little as the iPhone SE at launch, and parts production for it is ramping up as we speak.

Unfortunately, part of the production of the iPhone 9 will happen at Apple's giant assembler Foxconn in China, as the factories in India which amassed some experience producing the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 and even the iPhone XR, most likely can't churn out the tens of millions of iPhone 9 units that are likely to be snapped.

Apple iPhone 9 release and shipment delays affected by coronavirus


Due to the coronavirus outbreak that is sweeping China's heartland, quarantine rules hampered production of, well, everything, and Foxconn even retooled conveyor belts for protective masks instead of phones production. 

This, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, may inject uncertainty into the iPhone 9 launch and shipment schedules, as only one of the three Foxconn plants tasked with the iPhone 9 production is expected to return to work today, and even that schedule is under review by the Chinese health authorities. 

"There are still many uncertainties," tips the famed Apple analyst in a memo to clients, and stresses that he can't engage into any forecast regarding production volumes or even restart of the iPhone 9 assembly plans as the opening of the other Foxconn factories that are supposed to make it, will be delayed by "at least several days." 

Apple will most likely still announce and launch the iPhone 9 according to schedule, but there may be discrepancies between initial demand and actual availability that may see your shipment date pushed back significantly.

Related phones

iPhone SE (2020)

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