The much anticipated iPhone 5G - and the next obvious cash cow for
smartphone technology company Apple in its long line of smartphone cash cows - may be put on hold due to spillover effects from the coronavirus.
Bank of America put out a note on Friday morning, citing a conversation with an expert on the company's supply chain, that said the product launch may wind up being pushed back.
The expert said that “the iPhone 5G launch in the fall could see a month of delay.” He also warned that the launch of the iPhone SE2 would be delayed by "a few months" due to supply issues and weaker demand as a result of coronavirus.
Wamsi Mohan, analyst for Bank of America, warned timing for these upcoming models would “depend on how production ramps back up in April and May.”
Estimates were that Apple was set to launch the 5G phone this year, with the 2019 iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max continuing to use LTE. Now, it's looking as though 5G may even wind up being a 2021 event.
We estimate that if the coronavirus outbreak takes a turn for the worse, the delay could be longer than Bank of America estimates.
For Apple, the shock could be profound. The iPhone is the company's staple product and core driver of sales and margin. Due to Apple's inclusion in many indexes, a resultant headwind for the company's stock as a result of the delay could also serve to just add to the downward pressure the market is already facing as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.