Late last year, pre-COVID, Apple announced its new line of 5G-friendly iPhones would support LTE Band 48, which was considered a huge win by analysts for the CBRS industry. Apple joined other major manufacturers such as Samsung Galaxy with their S10 and Note 10 and Google with Pixel 3, in carrying Band 48. However with the slowdown of handset sales due to the pandemic world wide, Apple is reportedly asking its suppliers to slow down production of the new phones to limit exposure to the lagging demand, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Factory lockdowns and workplace absences caused by the pandemic are creating delays of between four weeks and two months for mass production of the four models in its 5G lineup the Review reported, with a worst-case scenario of postponing the launch of the four 5G phones until 2021.
The California-based company has been hampered by lockdown restrictions which analysts say have made the original release date for September of 2020 unlikely.
The Silicon Valley company, unlike its competitors, relies heavily on engineering and testing, which can’t be executed from remote “socially separated” locations.
“Some final iPhone assembly could be delayed to early October, and it wouldn’t be surprising if there are further delays because there are still a lot of tests going on now and the final designs have not yet been locked down,” an unnamed source told the Review.
Apple declined to comment on the matter.