Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri confirmed that this year’s iPhone will be slightly delayed compared to previous years. This means that the 2020 iPhones — which are expected to be Apple’s first smartphone models with next-generation 5G wireless support — will likely debut sometime in October.
“As you know, last year we started selling new iPhones in late September,” Maestri said. “This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later.”
This year’s iPhone is expected to come with a significant redesign, and early leaks suggested that Apple may return to a more angular aesthetic for its latest models, similar to the style used on the iPhone 4 series. Apple’s phones are expected to arrive with 5.4-, 6.1-, and 6.7-inch displays, and all models are believed to ship with OLED displays.
Apple did not disclose specific reasons for the delayed launch, but multiple reports said disruption in travel and the company’s global supply chain due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic may be large contributing factors. Dealing with shelter-in-place orders for Apple engineers may also have contributed to the delay.
Like many companies, Apple is still trying to figure out how to manage how its corporate and retail employees work, according to CEO Tim Cook. In stark contrast to policies at the normally secretive company, Apple only began allowing its engineers to work from home when shelter-in-place policies went into effect.
Working from home may have contributed to additional complexities surrounding the development of the iPhone and Apple’s policy of ensuring that the unannounced device doesn’t get prematurely leaked. Cook said that final decisions on work-from-home policies won’t be made until a vaccine is in sight.
Fortunately, it looks like the disruption from COVID-19 is very minimal for Apple, and iPhone fans will have to wait until October to land Apple’s first 5G smartphone this year.