Apple has cancelled its iPhone SE 2 aka iPhone 9 event over the coronavirus fears. The iPhone SE 2 along with new generation of iPad Pro was scheduled to launch on March 31.
The cancellation of event comes after the Santa Clara County temporarily banned mass gatherings of people owing to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the region. The iPhone 9 is now expected to launch in April as the company has halted its engineers from making business trips to Asia. These restrictions have delayed the engineering verification tests (EVTs) for the 5G iPhones at manufacturing facilities in China, where the virus outbreak started. China is also one of the largest manufacturing hubs for a number of smartphone makers, including Apple and now stands as the worst hit-country with COVID-19.
In February, Apple said that the company will not be able to meet its target forecasts and the global iPhone supply will be ‘will be temporarily constrained’. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker is already facing shortage of replacement iPhones and individual parts. Apple usually replaces screens or cameras. And if the phone is beyond repair, the company provides users with a replacement device instead of a new one.
The company has also started reopening stores in China. Of the 42 stores, Apple has reportedly opened 38 stores. The company is taking ‘deep cleaning protocols’ and has installed hand sanitisers at store entrances. Apple has also restricted company employees’ travel to China and have asked them to work from home. The company is also reported to send relief packages to its employees in China.
The company’s restriction on its engineers from travelling to Asia owing to the coronavirus has affected the development of its next-generation iPhone 12 which could result in a delayed fall launch.
In another smartphone related news, Google has also been reported to shift the manufacturing of its Pixel 4a, from China to countries like Vietnam and Thailand. Google is said to start the production in April.