By Malcolm Owen
Monday, March 09, 2020, 4:09 a.m. PT (7:09 a.m.ET)
The production schedule for the “ iPhone 12 ” collection would be affected by COVID-19 in an additional way, the travel restrictions imposed by Apple preventing its own engineers from carrying out tests on the components of models equipped with 5G .
The persistent threat of the coronavirus epidemic has forced many companies to put in place measures to minimize or stop the spread of the virus throughout its workforce and around the world. For Apple, this has largely affected its retail efforts and manufacturing partners, but a recent move for its own staff has further affected production.
Apple has placed travel restrictions on its employees beginning in early March, preventing them from visiting sites such as Italy and South Korea, unless criticized and approved by a vice president of the company. Instead, Apple management has recommended travel delays or the use of virtual meetings as an alternative.
According to DigiTimes In a paywall article published on Monday, Apple extended the removal of travel restrictions affecting Asia by one month, limiting travel to continental countries until the end of April. Industry sources say the move would prevent engineers from visiting supplier partners to test components for this year’s “iPhone 12” devices.
Due to Apple’s strict requirements for component manufacturers working within its supply chains, Apple regularly performs validation and quality control tests with its partners. Spring is usually the time of year when iPhone providers finalize their mass production plans for the annual iPhone update, which usually involves a considerable amount of testing on the part of Apple.
DigiTimes has solid experience in supply chain data, but has notoriously poor experience predicting the specific characteristics of Apple products – Monday’s report is more of the former than the latter. Combined with current world events, it seems plausible that technical validation is delayed.