As predicted by some analysts earlier, Apple Inc in the Q3 2020 earnings call, officially confirmed that the supply of upcoming iPhone 12 smartphones will get delayed by a few weeks. This means the new handsets are most likely not going to hit stores in September end as their predecessors. Unless Apple decides to start with limited units and ramp it up later, iPhone 12 models are likely to arrive in stores sometime after mid October.
New iPhone models typically hit stores in India a week after the US. For Instance, the iPhone 11 models were available in stores in the US on September 20 while in India they arrived on 27 September.
Experts believe the delay in the US will also result in delay in roll out in the India market.
“Delay would mean global delay. Release in India will also be delayed,” said Navkendar Singh, Research Director, client devices & IPDS with IDC India
Singh points out, the delay will lead to loss of potential gain globally, and possibly in the festive season in India. However, Diwali is in mid-Nov. If the release in India is delayed by 2-3 weeks, it won’t impact Apple much.
Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst at techARC is in agreement that release in India will be delayed too, but October is the period which matters and if they can release it in October, they still have time.
“Importantly, after the new iPhone model launches, Apple does well in Q4 in India due to price correction of previous generation models. Like after the iPhone 11 launch, iPhone X and XR did very well,” adds Singh.
Though Apple didn’t give the reason for the delay, according to a July report by Nikkei Asian Review based on anonymous sources, the US company is facing delays of four weeks to two months in the production of the four 5G-ready iPhone 12 models it plans to launch this year. The delays have been caused by factory lockdowns and workplace absence due to Covid-19. Some of the tests are still going on and the final designs of the new iPhones have not been confirmed yet.
Apple is currently the eighth leading smartphone vendor in India, according to CyberMedia Research’s June quarter report.
According to Counterpoint Research, Apple still remains the leading brand in the ultra-premium segment (INR 45,000 and above) on the back of iPhone 11 shipments.