Bloomberg this morning reports that Apple’s new low-cost iPhone is still on course for launch next month, despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on production, although new iPad Pro models originally scheduled for the first half of 2020 could yet face delays or constraints.
The [low-cost iPhone] is still on track to launch in March, though the plans are still fluid, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple has also been preparing updated iPad Pro models with a new camera system for the first half of 2020 and the virus may yet impose delays or constraints on those plans.
Bloomberg‘s sources don’t conflict with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo‘s latest predictions for the new low-cost iPhone, which is rumored to be based on the iPhone 8, but with upgraded internals. In a research note seen yesterday by MacRumors, Kuo reiterated his belief that the “iPhone 9” or “iPhone SE 2“ is still expected to launch in the first half of this year in spite of the impact of the viral outbreak on production.
Rumors have been pointing toward a significant iPad Pro update in the first half of this year, including a new triple-lens rear camera system supporting 3D sensing for immersive augmented reality experiences. Today’s report also broadly aligns with claims made on Monday by DigiTimes that production on the new iPad Pro models has been slow to ramp up following the extended Lunar New Year holiday, although the Taiwan-based website maintains that launch of the new devices is still expected “around March.”
Aside from potential delays, Apple’s spring media events have often occurred in March, and the list of products with rumored imminent updates has pointed toward one of those spring events being held again this year. A report yesterday claimed that Apple plans to hold a media event at the very end of March, with Tuesday, March 31 being the most likely date. The launch of the new low-cost iPhone is said to follow on Friday, April 3.
In addition to the new low-cost iPhone, rumors suggest Apple is planning to release an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, while more outlying launch possibilities for the first half of 2020 include a MacBook Air update, Apple’s Tile-like “AirTags” item trackers, and perhaps a wireless charging mat.