Apple considering delaying launch of its first 5G phone: report

David Caplan
March 25, 2020 - 4:36 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Apple is considering delaying the September launch of its first 5G iPhone because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times' sister publication Nikkei Asian Review reported Wednesday. 

Citing three sources familiar with the matter, the outlet reported that Apple has held internal talks about holding off on the phone's debut, as global demand has lessened and the company's product development schedule has been disrupted. 

"Supply chain constraint aside, Apple is concerned that the current situation would significantly lower consumer appetite to upgrade their phones, which could lead to a tame reception of the first 5G iPhone," a source with direct knowledge of the internal discussions told Nikkei Asian Review. "They need the first 5G iPhone to be a hit."

Apple's two biggest rivals, Samsung Electronics and Huawei Technologies, have already introduced a 5G-capable handset. 

Another person told the outlet, "Apple will make a final decision around May at the latest, given the fluid situation globally."

Apple has declined to comment so far. 

Suppliers have not been officially notified of a change in the production schedule -- Apple is even them to make up for time lost due to coronavirus-related disruptions.

"We are not giving it up yet. We are doing whatever we can to sort the issue out," a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Nikkei.

Another source said, "The discussion is still at an early stage, and the fall launch is not completely off the table. But the 5G iPhone could be postponed to 2021 in the worst-case scenario."