Report: Coronavirus won't delay March's iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 launch

In a nutshell: The novel coronavirus is disrupting several areas of the tech industry, including smartphone production, but a new report claims that Apple remains on course to launch the successor to the iPhone SE, likely called either the iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9, next month.

Apple has warned that production delays caused by the coronavirus would lead to iPhone shortages. Most of the company’s products are manufactured in China, and while it says work has resumed in the country, it’s “experiencing a slower return to normal conditions” than anticipated. All of which means Cupertino isn’t expected to meet its revenue targets for the March quarter.

Last month, we heard that Apple had reportedly begun mass production of an iPhone SE successor, which might forego the obvious name of iPhone SE 2 for the iPhone 9. It was rumored to launch in March, but the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak is expected to delay the handset’s release date. According to a Bloomberg report, however, that won’t be the case.

Report: Coronavirus won't delay March's iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 launch 1

Will the iPhone SE 2/iPhone 9 look like this? From @OnLeaks/@iGeeksblog

Quoting people familiar with the matter, the publication writes that the low-cost iPhone remains on track to arrive next month, “though plans are still fluid.” It’s also noted that Apple has been preparing to launch updated iPad Pro models in the first half of 2020, but the virus could delay these plans.

According to Taiwanese site Digitimes, the 2020 iPad Pros will launch in March, suggesting Apple will unveil both the low-price handsets and new tablets at the same time.

It’s rumored that the new iPhone will look very similar to the iPhone 8, with its top and bottom bezels, 4.7-inch LCD, and single rear camera, but it will feature the same A13 processor found in the iPhone 11. It will also have Touch ID, rather than Face ID facial recognition. Analyst Ming-Chi Ku believes it will have a starting price of just $399—cheaper than the $449 iPhone 8 (64GB) that Apple sells.

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