Apple's Production of New Affordable iPhone Reportedly Delayed Until March

Inventories of existing iPhone models also could remain low through April, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
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Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report had planned to release a more modestly priced iPhone this spring, but the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has delayed its production by several weeks, according to a new report. 

Mass production of the new phone was supposed to start at the end of February, but disruptions to suppliers will delay the process until "sometime in March," Nikkei Asian Review reported on Wednesday

A source told Nikkei that Apple's suppliers are currently operating at around 30% to 50% capacity on average, though they are gradually resuming production. 

The supply chain disruptions also have meant that inventories of existing models could remain low until April or longer.

Apple originally had asked suppliers to prepare up to 80 million iPhones, including 15 million of the affordable model, in the first half of this year.

According to a recent report by Trendforce, a supply chain analytics firm, labor shortages and travel restrictions have led to widespread disruptions affecting a wide range of tech components and consumer devices. Smartwatch and smartphone shipments could see a double-digit drop vs. prior forecasts, and certain components such as computer and LED panels have seen particularly notable delays. 

Earlier this week, Apple issued a statement cautioning investors that it will miss its revenue targets for the fiscal second quarter, which were originally set at $63 billion to $67 billion. 

Apple shares fell sharply after the company issued its revenue warning on Monday, but have largely recovered from that drop. Shares were trading at $324.24 on Wednesday.

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