The big picture: Covid-19 has caused manufacturing delays across multiple industries, forcing factories to shut down and supply chains to halt as workers went home to isolate themselves in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus. Manufacturing efforts have largely gotten back underway but apparently, at least in Apple’s case, they weren’t able to make up for lost time quickly enough.
Apple has confirmed what many thought might be the case leading into the latter half of a tumultuous 2020 – a delay in launching new iPhone models this fall.
During Apple’s recent earnings call with investors, CFO Luca Maestri said Apple’s next generation of iPhones would arrive “a few weeks later” than usual. Last year, if you recall, the iPhone 11 family of smartphones were introduced on September 10 and released on September 20.
News of a delay wasn’t entirely out of left field.
Furthermore, Qualcomm said earlier this week that it expects a “partial impact from the delay of a flagship phone launch.” The delay “pushes some of the units out from the September quarter to the December quarter for us,” Qualcomm Chief Financial Officer Akash Palkhiwala told Reuters.
The mystery phone wasn’t mentioned by name but most believe the customer in question is Apple. Given Apple’s admission of a delay, that assumption now seems even more accurate. We can also more confidently assume that at least some of Apple's new iPhones will feature 5G radios for the first time.