Apple is considering delaying the release of its next iPhone by months due to the coronavirus pandemic as smartphone sales dive 14 per cent.
Apple’s new iPhone, set to be the first model which will support 5G networks, could be pushed back by “months” according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Apple’s headquarters in Silicon Valley has been placed under a “shelter in place order” while its corporate staff and engineers work from home.
This means any concrete decision on when to release the new iPhone, which has launched in September or October every year since 2011.
Apple’s iPhone sales account for around half of its total revenue, making a successful launch critical for the company.
The decision comes amid data showing that global smartphone sales dropped 14 per cent in February when the virus was at its peak in China.
Counterpoint Research released yesterday suggested that Chinese smartphone sales also divebombed 38 per cent, while Apple sold less than 500,000 smartphones in the region.
Apple was one of the first big tech companies to cease operations in China, and although many of its factories have returned to operations its key chip supplier Foxconn announced it is being forced to suspend operations in India as the outbreak spreads causing new supply chain issues for Apple.