Recent reports surrounding the iPhone 12 lineup have claimed that Apple’s supply-chain has caught up to the production delay and that the devices are on track for a September or early October launch. A Nikkei report, however, claims the opposite and says that Apple is pushing its suppliers to reduce production delays so that the launch of the 5G iPhone 12 lineup is not delayed by up to 2 months.
The report says that there could be a possible delay of four weeks to up to two months in the mass production of all the four 5G iPhone 12 models. The delay is being caused by countries being in lockdown and the lack of labor workforce. Apple has been trying to aggressively cut down on delays so that it does not face the “worst-case scenario of postponing the launch until 2021” as per one of the sources. Apple and its suppliers are working overtime to ensure that they are able to launch the iPhone as per the regular timeframe.
“What the progress looks like now is months of delay in terms of mass production, but Apple is doing everything it can to shorten the postponement. There’s a chance that the schedule could still be moved ahead,” one of the sources told Nikkei.
Seemingly, the development schedule of the 5G mmWave iPhone 12 model for the U.S. market is currently two months behind schedule. The other 5G models featuring sub-6GHz connectivity are around 1.5 months behind schedule. The company finished the Engineering Verification Tests (EVTs) for the iPhone 12 lineup by the end of June, a month later than its usual timeframe. Other tests including Design Verification Tests and Product Verification Tests are yet to be completed.
With Califonia’s “shelter at home” restrictions eased in June, Apple’s hardware development team returned to work allowing some of the deadlines to be moved up and speed the final configuration of the new iPhones. However, one of the sources still claims that despite the aggressive schedule, “some final iPhone assembly could be delayed to early October.” He also did not rule out the possibility of additional delays as a lot of “tests going on. now and the final designs have not yet been locked down.”
Apple had earlier placed an order for 100 million 5G iPhone 12 components, but after the pandemic set it, the company has reduced the order to 80 million units. It could further reduce the order volume depending on the market scenario. The company has also asked its suppliers to build 45 million units of older iPhones for the second half of 2020 in case there is a delay in the launch of the iPhone 12.