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iPhone launch could be delayed, warns Apple supplier

Matthew Field
Iphone 11

A major Apple supplier is expecting a later iPhone launch this year than the company's usual September plans.

Broadcom, a US semiconductor supplier, said it anticipated its revenues from Apple's next iPhone would come later in the year, between October and December.

The chip firm is believed to make parts for Apple. Hock Tan, Broadcom's chief executive, said:  "The question is timing. This year, we do not expect to see this uptick in revenue until our fourth fiscal quarter." 

Mr Tan referred to a "major product cycle delay" at a "large North American mobile phone", understood to refer to Apple, according to Bloomberg.

Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 is expected to be its first with 5G capabilities, meaning faster download speeds, as well as an improved camera and battery life.

Apple normally reveals its new iPhones at a September launch event, showcasing the devices at its California headquarters before their release, usually towards the end of September. The annual iPhone event is Apple's biggest event in its calendar, setting up the phone maker for a bumper Christmas period should the launch go well.

However, it has broken with this pattern in the past, revealing its 2017 iPhone X in September but not putting it on sale until November. In 2018, its iPhone XR also came later, in October.

Pushing back the launch also pushes back a peak in revenues for Apple and its suppliers, including Broadcom.

Apple's supply chain has been disrupted by coronavirus as Chinese factories deal with the effects of lockdowns, shutting down or scaling back prodcution.

While giant suppliers, such as Taiwan's Foxconn which assembles iPhones, have returned to work, Apple has also experienced its own challenges, such as difficulties in flying out its engineers and experts to China.