Previous reports suggested that Apple was gearing up to start mass-producing a new budget-friendly iPhone 9 in February, with a possible launch in Mach. However, the latest outbreak of the Coronavirus could have a negative impact on Apple’s plans.
A new Coronavirus has originated in Wuhan China, and it has caused more than 100 deaths, with thousands still infected. Yes, its mortality rate may seem relatively low, at around 1%, but it is a rapidly spreading virus, and the Chinese government is taking action to contain it. The entire city of Wuhan has been put under quarantine. All public transport in and out of the city suspended.
Now, Apple’s problems would start if the virus reaches Apple’s manufacturing centers, such as Foxconn and Pegatron, which are located in Zhengzhou and Shanghai, respectively. Yes, these are more than 500 km away from Wuhan, but they could also be affected by the outbreak. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has reported that the iPhone 9’s production could be affected if the government, Pegatron or Foxconn decide to close factories to prevent contamination since there have been confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the vicinities. Apart from the iPhone 9, the production of the iPhone 11 and the AirPods could also be affected, if the virus is not contained.