KEY POINTS

  • A report claims that the iPhone SE successor is on track for release
  • This is because Apple has decided to move production to factories in Taiwan
  • The iPhone 12 lineup, however, might be delayed

Apple's iPhone SE successor might be released according to schedule, but the next flagship iPhone lineup might be delayed due to concerns related to the current spread of Coronavirus in China, a report claims.

Cupertino tech giant Apple has been reported to shift production of iPhone models slated for release in the first half of 2020 to Taiwan-based factories, a paywalled Digitimes report revealed (via MacRumors). This is so that the company will still be on track to release the device despite the current Coronavirus outbreak in China.

“Apple is mulling shifting more assembly orders for its new models slated for launch in the first half of 2020 to factories in Taiwan mainly to diversify production risks associated with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to industry sources,” Digitimes reported.

This device is expected to be the successor to the beloved iPhone SE. Previous reports revealed that Apple plans to reveal the handset, which could be named iPhone SE 2 or iPhone 9, as soon as March. The current Coronavirus issue, however, is seen to affect the targeted launch window and might push it back.

The new Digitimes report simply indicates that Apple doesn't want the virus, or concerns about it, to derail its business any longer. Cupertino has already closed its retail stores and offices in China, and has stopped productions in the Asian country. Instead of waiting to open its China-based factories to resume operations, it might simply move production to India and Taiwan, analysts say.

The next flagship lineup

While the iPhone SE successor appears to be on track for release, the upcoming flagship lineup might be delayed. This is because of Apple's decision to stop sending engineers, who are developing the iPhone 12, to China, Digitimes also reported.

Apple CEO Tim Cook previously said that the company has restricted travel to China and has limited it to “business critical travel.” If the situation improves, however, Cupertino might be able to resume production and announce the iPhone 12 series in September.

A total of 59,822 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, have been recorded as of writing time, per Worldometers. More than 1,300 have died from the disease.

Foxconn, which assembles Apple's iPhone, is one of China's biggest private employers with more than 30 factories and research facilities, including one in Wuhan Foxconn, which assembles Apple's iPhone, is one of China's biggest private employers with more than 30 factories and research facilities, including one in Wuhan Photo: AFP / Johannes EISELE