The worldwide pandemic has taken its toll on a ton of industries, as many countries have already (and continue) to be in various states of lockdown. With no end to the coronavirus threat in sight, it will be a long time before our world returns to something resembling normal, and companies can start to function as they used to — the tech industry is no different.
While it may not seem like it on the surface, we are starting to hear and see the effects of the world shutting down on the technology sector and specifically Apple.
Delays are to be expected
This may seem like an obvious statement, but when the world is as disrupted as it is right now, product delays are inevitable. Heck, even when things are functioning at 100%, product delays can happen for other reasons. What products are getting delayed and what products may be delayed in the future will be interesting to see.
A report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that Apple's new Mini LED-based products may not debut until next year. Previously. It had been speculated that that Mini LED iPads and even a MacBook Pro would be announced later this year; however, due to the delay in manufacturing, the technology that no longer seems possible.
That's just one of the delays we know, and likely more will be reported before this is all over. Even if the world got back to 100% tomorrow (which it most certainly won't), there are likely even delays in the manufacturing pipeline to disrupt certain products for months. In any case, we should get ready to hear announcements of product delays well into 2021 and maybe even 2022.
R&D could be delayed and we wouldn't know
Well we know bits and pieces of information about some of the future products Apple may be working on, the truth is when it comes to research and development, there's a ton of products or concepts that never see the light of day. You may remember the promised and then canceled AirPower, products "die" behind the scenes at tech companies all the time — it's just part of the business.
It's possible that Apple is working on AR glasses, the HomePod 2, and a new version of AirPods, and those are just some of the rumored products in development right now, and they are all in different stages. There's no telling how the pandemic may have caused delays in these products or dozen of other products/projects we don't know anything about.
This isn't an issue facing just Apple, but the entire industry is adapting to many challenges to doing business right now. Not all products have been affected, the iPhone SE, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the 2020 iPad Pros all have launched pretty smoothly, but don't expect the industry to chug along at a normal pace.
Although no one can say for sure, all these delays and hang-ups in production right now have a good chance of affecting the supply chain for a year or more. Until all this is over and the world is turning at a normal pace, just be patient and realize new products may take longer than expected.
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.