While rumors continue to emerge around a possible event in March, in addition to the launch of the iPhone SE 2 (or iPhone 9) and iPad Pro, Apple is struggling to regain full production capacity.
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, production of the new iPhone may be anticipated and existing models may continue to suffer shortages until at least April.
One of the sources said that suppliers are trying to get the new, cheaper iPhone in the production cycle in four weeks, adding that further delays in the low-cost iPhone will affect Apple's strategy for the rest of the year.
"Suppliers are doing their best to produce and ship the iPhone within four weeks. The delay cannot be too long; otherwise, it will affect the sales strategy for Apple's new products in the second half of this year."
Another source says that currently iPhone vendors operate with a capacity of only 30% to 50% due to labor and logistical problems. These problems are resulting in a shortage of supplies for the iPhone that is unlikely to be resolved until April.
"On average, iPhone supply chain suppliers are currently operating at around 30% to 50% of capacity … The restricted supply of iPhones is likely to extend until April. There are still many obstacles, from the lack of manpower. to logistical transportation. (…) The greatest uncertainty still remains, since no one can be sure whether the coronavirus is under control ".
Apple planned to produce up to 80 million new iPhones, with 15 million intended for the low-cost model, during the first half of 2020. These production numbers now appear to be far from being reached.
The exact impact on the new iPhone is still unknown. The release date may be postponed or Apple may maintain the release date with fewer units available. Those are the options, unless suppliers find a way to return production to normal levels within a shorter time.