Apple is a company that likes to stick to a rigid yearly schedule when it comes to the release of new iPhones, with the company preferring to reveal the latest smartphones at a September event. That has been the case for years at this point, but will the coronavirus pandemic force Apple’s hand this year? According to Nikkei Asian Review sources, the company is doing all it can to limit the impact of the pandemic, but it’s an uphill battle.

The publication’s sources claim that Apple is currently facing delays of “between four weeks and two months for the mass production of the four models in its 5G lineup” following delays due to factory lockdowns and general workplace absences during the early days of the pandemic. That could mean the release of the iPhone could be pushed back as far as November, and that’s not ideal for Apple or excited consumers. 

It has to be noted that Apple is ‘aggressively’ trying to cut the delays, and it has been largely successful so far - three months ago, it looked like the release of the iPhone 12 could’ve been pushed back as far as early 2021. The company and its suppliers are apparently working overtime to make up for the lost time, but it’s unclear at this point whether Apple will hit the September 2020 release target. 

A separate source talking to the publication claims that the situation ‘remains dynamic’ even if the company has set an aggressive target for its supply chain. "Some final iPhone assembly could be delayed to early October, and it wouldn't be surprising if there are further delays because there are still a lot of tests going on now and the final designs have not yet been locked down," the source explained. 

Delays aside, it’s interesting that the second source claims that the final designs are yet to be decided, especially considering the number of leaks and rumours about the redesigned iPhone 12 we’ve seen in the past few months. By the sounds of this, the iPad Pro-esque redesign of the iPhone 12 range is anything but confirmed - but we can still hope, right?

New design aside, the iPhone 12 is expected to sport a smaller notch, 5G support to compete with flagship Android devices, the introduction of a LiDAR sensor for improved AR experiences and possibly improved fast charge speeds. But it’s not all good news - rumours also suggest that the iPhone 12 range won’t feature EarPods or a charger in the box in a bid to keep prices low and help the environment.

For more on the upcoming iPhone, take a look at the latest iPhone 12 news