Joining the dots: Why you shouldn't expect to see a new iPhone launch next week

COVID-19 has changed everything -- even iPhone launches.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Yesterday there was excitement among the tech community, in particular Apple watchers. The company pushed out press invites to a September 15th online event, an event with the tagline "Time Flies."

Hmm, this is 2020, where weeks have felt like years, so I'm not sure about that tagline.

Back to the press event. It's September, so journalist's minds automatically went to one thing -- the iPhone. But it seems unlikely that we'll see an iPhone until October.

Here's why.

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First off, the press invite was pretty much immediately followed by tweets from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Buzzfeed's John Paczkowski, claiming that this wasn't an iPhone launch, but an event for a new Apple Watch and iPad. Both of these tweets felt like they were based on strategic leaks by Apple to curb expectations rather than something based on vague rumors.

Gurman went on to publish a piece solidifying these claims.

And this makes perfect sense, since COVID-19 has had a massive impact across the board, even affecting the iPhone.

Bottom line, coronavirus has affected development and production of the new iPhone, and whole Apple appears to have shortened those delays from months to weeks, production isn't expected to begin until mid-September, and despite gaining ground it may miss its goal of producing 80 million units for the year by about 6 - 7 million.

This delay should not come as a huge surprise to Apple watchers either, since Apple's CFO Luca Maestri said as much during the 3Q 2020 earnings call back at the end of July.

"As you know, last year we started selling new iPhones in late September. This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later."

So, don't act so surprised.

Since Apple isn't holding a physical event where reporters have to travel to, it also makes sense to break things up, and not dump a whole bunch of things at once.

Apple is going to show even the more fervent iPhone buyer, the person who wants one on day one, that their iPhone can last more than a year.

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