Report: Coronavirus could cause iPhone SE 2 shortage, iPad Pro delay

Coronavirus fears shut down Mobile World Congress, and now the virus appears to be impacting Apple too. Yesterday, the company announced problems stemming from the outbreak would cause it to miss its next quarterly earning goals. Today, a report from Nikkei suggests supply shortages means Apple will likely miss its schedule for mass-producing the long-awaited iPhone SE 2 (sometimes rumored to be called the iPhone 9). Inventories of existing models may remain low until April or longer as well.

Nikkei reports Apple had previously planned to release the more affordable iPhone in the spring; it was just yesterday we reported on a rumor pegging the device’s announcement as March 31. According to Nikkei‘s report, Apple was expected to begin producing the new devices by the end of February, but meeting that target is currently “very challenging” and production could be delayed until sometime in March. Apple‘s iPhone suppliers are reportedly operating at 30 to 50 percent at the moment.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the phone won’t still be announced in March, and indeed, Bloomberg reports the announcement timing is still on track. However, it does mean there are likely to be shortages of the new device. Bloomberg also notes that a new iPad Pro was originally scheduled for the firth half of 2020 but the virus may cause “delays or constraints” on those plans.

iPhone SE 2 rumors have so far pegged the price at $399 and specs as being similar to the iPhone 11. It’s expected to use the same A13 CPU as the 11, and come with 3GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage. Apple will instead save costs by using a lower resolution display and essentially recycling the iPhone 8’s chassis. While it seems Apple may still make its launch date target, you might want to put in your pre-order as soon as possible given the anticipated shortages.

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Published February 19, 2020 — 00:29 UTC

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