Apple is gearing up for its next iPhone launch this fall, but the monthlong Covid lockdowns in China could delay “at least one” of the upcoming models, according to a new report.
Nikkei Asia reports that the development of at least one of Apple’s new flagship iPhones for this year has fallen behind schedule due to Covid-19 shutdowns in China. That means even if Apple announces its new iPhone 14 lineup in September, as it usually does, some of the models might be available to buy in September.
The report says Apple told suppliers to try and make up for a lost time, but a worst-case scenario “could impact the manufacturing schedule and initial production volumes of the new phones. It’s not clear which model in the upcoming iPhone 14 may be impacted by the delay – the report just says “at least one” of Apple’s iPhone 14 models. To be specific, delays are said to be due to the engineering verification test (EVT). This is when suppliers finalise all the parts and the processes needed to begin production. The delays have been caused by constant shutdowns in China at major Apple manufacturing sites given the government’s zero Covid-19 policy in the country.
For this year, Apple is planning four new models, including two models in the “Pro” range, the standard iPhone 14 and a new 6.7-inch ‘Max’ model which will replace a 5.4-inch variant. All new models will boast a hole-punch display, no screen-notch, and a new processor. Apple may add improved cameras on the iPhone 14 series, including a new high-end camera lens for its front-facing camera. LG Innotek will reportedly provide the selfie camera for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes a new 48-megapixel wide camera for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models will be added, up from 12-megapixels on previous models.
Despite the iPhone 14’s incremental upgrades, Apple plans to sell the new iPhone series in millions. The existing iPhone 13 has been Apple’s best-selling iPhone to date, setting a new world record. Any production delay could impact the launch of the iPhone 14 in September. It’s not that Apple hasn’t delayed the availability of the iPhone before. The iPhone X was announced at the same time as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, in September 2017, but the high-end didn’t ship for two months.