Apple Could Delay Launch of 5G iPhone: Report

Sinking global demand tied to the coronavirus pandemic could mean a delay of several months in launching the 5G iPhone, according to Nikkei.
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Apple is considering pushing back the launch of its forthcoming 5G iPhone, according to a new report. 

Apple executives are discussing a possible delay of several months in introducing the much-anticipated new phone, sources told Nikkei Asian Review. Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report shares closed 0.55% lower to $245.52 on Wednesday. 

According to Nikkei, Apple is weighing both supply chain hurdles and sinking global demand for smartphones tied to the coronavirus pandemic in the decision. Apple's 5G iPhone had been expected to launch in September. 

The company is closely monitoring the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. and Europe, its two largest sales markets, to evaluate what the demand picture will look like. 

Apple's retail stores outside of China are closed until further notice, and according to Nikkei, the company is also encountering engineering hurdles owing to travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders around the globe. 

Stakes are high in the 5G iPhone launch. The phone had been widely expected to reinvigorate Apple's iPhone sales, which have trended downward over the past few years.

In a note published last week, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives lowered estimates for Apple's fiscal 2020 revenues by 14%, and its 12-month price target for the stock to $335, based on sinking global demand and the possibility of a delay in launching the 5G phone. 

Overall smartphone shipments fell 38% year-over-year in February, owing to supply chain disruptions in China and retail closures tied to the virus. 

Apple is one of the holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club