The coronavirus could disrupt production of Apple’s next iPhone

It’s feared that the outbreak could interrupt Apple’s plans to release a new, cheaper smartphone model (Picture: Barcroft Media/ Getty Images)

The Wuhan killer coronavirus could disrupt production of upcoming iPhones.

Apple is expected to release a relatively cheap SE2 model in March as a follow-up to its popular SE from 2016.

But it’s feared that the spread of the disease could play havoc with this schedule. So far, more than 100 people have been killed 4,500 infected during the outbreak.

A report in the Japanese Nikkei newspaper claimed Apple has asked its Chinese manufacturing centres to build 80 million iPhones in the first half of 2020.

This includes 65 million older models which have already been released as well as 15 million inexpensive new models.

The Nikkei said mass production was due to start in February, but if the epidemic worsens then it might end up being delayed.


An unofficial mock-up of the iPhone SE2 (Image: Mobile Fun)

According to noted Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo, the iPhone SE 2 will reportedly be similar to the design of the iPhone 8 but will come with Apple’s newest processor, the A13 Bionic – the same chip included in both new iPhone 11’s – despite having 1GB less RAM than Apple’s premium models.

Kuo says the phones will likely be positioned as a way to entice iPhone owners still using the company’s older models, particularly the iPhone 6 and 6s, who cannot afford the iPhone 11.

It may even be christened the iPhone 9 as Apple skipped straight from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone X (ten).

The original iPhone SE was released in March – so if Apple did decide to reveal a follow-up, we may not have too long to wait.


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