'iPhone 9' Production Reportedly Scheduled for February, But Could Be Impacted By Coronavirus Outbreak

Apple's production plans for the so-called "iPhone SE 2" or "iPhone 9" next month could face disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak that has caused more than 100 deaths in China, reports Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

iphone 9 onleaks 1

"‌iPhone‌ 9" concept render by @OnLeaks via iGeeksBlog

The vast majority of Apple's iPhones are made in China, by Foxconn in Zhengzhou and by Pegatron at an assembly plant near Shanghai. Both of the locations are more than 500 kilometers away from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, but Gurman suggests the distance "doesn't immunize them from its effects," and analysts he spoke to agreed.

"I can't imagine a scenario where the supply chain isn't disrupted," said veteran industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. "If there's one major hiccup in the raw materials, fabrication, assembly, test, and shipping, it will be a disruption."

Apple typically launches its flagship smartphones around September, so the coronavirus shouldn't affect those plans, but Apple is also reportedly prepping a new low-cost iPhone that's set to be released during the first half of 2020 – possibly as early as March – which puts those mass production plans "more at risk," says Gurman.

Apple has booked orders for up to 65 million of its older iPhones and up to 15 million units of the "‌iPhone‌ 9," according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Mass production of the new low-cost ‌iPhone‌ is reportedly due to start in the third week of February.

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus are rising in Henan province, where the Zhengzhou facility is located, and that could lead Foxconn or the government to close factories to prevent further contamination, according to Bloomberg's Matthew Kanterman.

Foxconn said it is monitoring the situation in China and following all recommended health practices. It declined to comment on production in specific locations but said, "We can confirm that we have measures in place to ensure that we can continue to meet all global manufacturing obligations."

Gurman notes that Apple dual-sources many of its components to mitigate the impact of extreme scenarios like the coronavirus. As such, a major immediate impact to its production plans is unlikely for now, according to a person familiar with its operations.

Over the weekend, Apple chief Tim Cook said in a tweet that the company intends to donate money in support of groups in China fighting the outbreak of the Coronavirus. A coronavirus is a family of viruses that include the common cold, but this particular virus causes severe acute respiratory infection and has never been detected before.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2020
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

Heelpir8 Avatar
16 months ago

Bloomberg and Macrumours should be ashamed of themselves for publishing this article.Lives are more important than the production of a smartphone.Disgraceful !
They're not saying phones are more important than lives. They're saying the coronavirus could affect iPhone production. Hope your day hasn't been ruined.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calstanford Avatar
16 months ago
Stupid. Who gives a **** if the iPhones lame update comes a months late. Lives are at stake!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Steve121178 Avatar
16 months ago

Bloomberg and Macrumours should be ashamed of themselves for publishing this article.Lives are more important than the production of a smartphone.Disgraceful !
Bloomberg is money/business focused, so why shouldn't they cover the impact the virus outbreak could have on business & revenue? Should they bury their heads in the sand so the professionally offended don't get offended?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
16 months ago
Gurman occasionally gets a decent Apple-related tip, but neither he nor Bloomberg are a credible source of information—let alone speculation—regarding a potential epidemic or the impacts thereof.

Pre-conference call FUD, nothing more. A transparent attempt at price manipulation.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
[AUT] Thomas Avatar
16 months ago
Of course that's the first thing that comes to my mind at a potential pandemic... the supply chain of a luxury product that's going to be released in 9 month.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
manu chao Avatar
16 months ago

Gurman occasionally gets a decent Apple-related tip, but neither he nor Bloomberg are a credible source of information—let alone speculation—regarding a potential epidemic or the impacts thereof.

Pre-conference call FUD, nothing more. A transparent attempt at price manipulation.
Boy, if I had a penny every time somebody advanced a conspiracy theory ...

Do you really think it is healthy to always blame a conspiratorial nefarious intent behind everything you don't like?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
apple music for artists new icon

Apple's Revamped Apple Music for Artists Icon Leads to Speculation About iOS 15 Design Plans

Tuesday April 6, 2021 1:03 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday updated its Apple Music for Artists app with some minor bug fixes and improvements, but also one other notable change -- a new icon. New icon on the right The Apple Music for Artists app now features a simpler, streamlined icon with a pinkish red music logo rather than the multicolored logo that was used before. The icon also has an embossed look that makes it stand out from...
apple find my network

Apple Announces Find My Network With Support for Third-Party Devices

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced the launch of its Find My network accessory program, which is designed to allow third-party Bluetooth devices to be tracked in the Find My app right alongside your Apple devices. According to Apple, the first accessory companies to take advantage of the new Find My integration include Belkin, Chipolo, and VanMoof, with devices set to be available beginning next week. ...
new m1 chip

M1 Mac RAM and SSD Upgrades Found to Be Possible After Purchase

Tuesday April 6, 2021 5:34 am PDT by
Technicians in China have reportedly succeeded in upgrading the memory and storage of the M1 chip, suggesting that Apple's integrated custom silicon for the Mac may be more flexible than previously thought. Reports of maintenance technicians being able to expand the memory and storage of M1 Macs began circulating on Chinese social media over the weekend, but now international reports have...
Intel MBP Is Thin and Lighjt

Intel Ad for 'World's Best Processor' Features a MacBook Pro

Wednesday April 7, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Intel has been on a relentless marketing drive against Mac computers in recent weeks, positioning them as inferior to Windows laptops powered by Intel processors. In a slight slip-up, however, Intel has accidentally used a MacBook instead of a Windows laptop in one of its newest ads to promote one of its new 11th-generation chips as "the world's best processor." The ad appeared on Reddit and ...
tmobile 5g modem

T-Mobile Launches Unlimited 5G Home Internet for $60/Month

Wednesday April 7, 2021 2:18 pm PDT by
T-Mobile today hosted an Un-carrier event where the company announced the launch of a a new 5G home internet plan, which is priced at $60 per month and offers unlimited data. The service is available to more than 30 million Americans across much of the United States, including 10 million households in rural areas not typically able to access reliable broadband. Connectivity will be either 4G ...
iMessage Android featured

Apple's Rationale for Not Bringing iMessage to Android Revealed in Legal Documents

Friday April 9, 2021 2:22 am PDT by
It's no secret that Apple sees iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep the service exclusive to Apple devices, however new court filings submitted by Epic Games in its ongoing lawsuit with the company reveal just how Apple executives have rationalized their decision not to develop a version of iMessage for Android. Apple clearly recognizes the power that iMessage has to keep users...
14

Apple Seeds Seventh Betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday April 7, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the seventh betas of upcoming iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta updates coming one week after Apple released the sixth iOS and iPadOS 14.5 betas. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. iOS 14.5 is the...
ipad pro and macbook pro

iPad and MacBook Production Reportedly Delayed Due to Global Chip Shortage

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Apple is facing a global shortage of certain components for some of its MacBook and iPad models, causing the Cupertino tech giant and its suppliers to postpone production of the products, according to a new report from Nikkei Asia. According to the report, MacBook production is being hindered due to the shortage of chips mounted onto the circuit board before final assembly, which is a key...