iPhone 12 release date could be delayed by months due to coronavirus, reports say

Andrew Griffin
A Member of Parliament using protective gloves uses a smartphone during a session at the Spanish Parliament in Madrid to explain the Government's declaration of a State of Alert and the measures taken to mitigate the coronavirus COVID-19 consequences on March 18, 2020: MARISCAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Apple could delay the release of the iPhone 12 by "months", according to a new report.

The company is facing struggles with both making the phones and knowing whether customers would be around and willing to buy them, according to a story from Nikkei Asian Review.

The rumours chime with previous concerns that Apple may not be able to launch the new handset for its usual release in September.

The launch could be delayed by a matter of months, the same report claimed, citing conversations with people that were part of discussions held by Apple about pushing the date back.

Apple is expected to release a range of new phones under the iPhone 12 banner this year, with some include depth-sensing cameras and other performance upgrades. They are also set to be Apple's first 5G iPhones, allowing it to integrate the faster data connections found in phones made by rivals such as Samsung.

The report did not indicate when the phone's launch could be pushed back to. It is likely that it will be aiming to release them by the holiday period towards the end of the year, at the very latest.

Any decision on a postponement is likely to be made in May, the report indicated, and the timeline may not be finalised until staff are back at work after the coronavirus lockdown. Apple sent all of its staff home relatively early as the disease spread across the US, and they are still being told to work from home.

In recent years, Apple has been on a very reliable schedule with iPhone launches. The company reveals the phone in early September, and then launches it a couple of weeks later.

Apple has been rumoured to be launching a cheaper handset, known as the iPhone 9, in the earlier half of the year. Rumours before the widespread outbreak of coronavirus in the US suggested that it could be planning an event at the end of March, but no launch has been announced.

Last week, Apple announced an updated MacBook Air and a new iPad Pro – which includes some technology that might come to the iPhone 12.

Read more

How to help the elderly and vulnerable during the coronavirus

How to feel less anxious about the coronavirus

How to be productive when working from home during coronavirus

Which countries around the world has coronavirus spread to?

The dirty truth about washing your hands