Report: Coronavirus isn't impacting iPhone 9 production, but iPhone 12 might have an issue

iPhone 8
iPhone 8 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple partners are ramping up iPhone 9 production.
  • But iPhone 12 production may be delayed.
  • Apple isn't sending engineers to help with EVT.

Apple's Taiwanese suppliers are reportedly ready to gear up their iPhone 9 production, according to a new report. But while DigiTimes and MacRumors say iPhone 9 looks to be on track, things might not be so simple for iPhone 12.

We've been hearing rumors of an iPhone SE replacement for months, with iPhone 9 seemingly the name everyone has settled on. Whatever Apple calls it, we've heard rumors that March is a likely release window for the phone. If that's accurate, factories would indeed be ramping up production right about now.

Things look less positive for iPhone 12, however. According to the report, Apple has stopped sending engineers to China which is impacting the Engineering Validation Test (EVT) phase of development. That will reportedly have a knock-on impact on production, preventing iPhone 12 handsets from being built until EVT has been completed.

Things are very much fluid at this point, though. Nobody knows how the current coronavirus situation will change in the coming weeks. But with Apple likely to announce iPhone 12 in September, its suppliers will need to get through EVT sooner rather than later.

As MacRumors notes, this information comes from the DigiTimes Daily Digest, so it's possible we will be able to glean more when the full report is published. Hopefully, that will happen tomorrow.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.