The new iPhone 12 are likely to be released a month late or to be in quantity more than their launch limit. Usually Apple engineers and executives visit supplier factories in China during this time of year. So they can do the final checks before mass production of the new iPhones begins. This time the situation is different and the monitoring process will be delayed. The coronavirus epidemic is indeed still current.
As reported by Reuters, the ongoing epidemic in China has prompted Apple to postpone numerous executive and engineering trips. In addition, several US airlines have blocked all flights to China until April 24.
Although production of the new iPhones begins in the summer, during the first months of the year, some Apple executives and engineers travel to China to perfect assembly processes with production partners such as Foxconn. Reuters spoke to former Apple employees who said the situation could be "a serious problem" because the company's engineers must face Foxconn colleagues opposite to plan production of new ones iPhone 12.
Usually, in February, Apple enters the final validation phase of production. Foxconn employees assemble a limited number of devices and the assembly process is reviewed and confirmed by Apple engineers. A source said Reuters that this last phase of testing is very complicated and that there are so many variables to control and verify .
The fact that Apple has canceled most of the trips to China will cause delays in starting production. This is also the case for the finalization of orders for various components from third party partners. The situation could stabilize in about a month, so it will be difficult for Apple to make up for the time lost due to the coronavirus.
For end users, this means that the iPhone 12 could be launched a month later than the original forecast. The new iPhone 12s may also be available on time but with limited stocks.