Apple will no longer host an event to launch the iPhone 9 (aka iPhone SE 2) later this month, according to a report on Tuesday.
Cult of Mac says it has heard from a source at Apple that the planned event has now been postponed.
While the COVID-19 outbreak is undoubtedly a factor in the decision, it’s seemingly more to do with continued delays to the production of the long-awaited successor to 2016’s affordable iPhone SE handset.
The Apple source reportedly said the “delays in producing two of the primary products” was key in the firm’s decision to postpone the event. “Why have an event when the products aren’t ready? It’s a pretty simple decision,” the source added.
The source did tell Cult of Mac that Apple had expressed concern about hosting one of its traditional product launches, with around 1,000 packing out the Steve Jobs Theater at its Cupertino campus, given the current panic.
Apple was concerned about the 43 known cases of the coronavirus in Santa Clara County, where Apple is headquartered. The local government has banned mass gatherings for the next three weeks.
Whether Apple plans to shelve the announcement for the time being, or host a low-key streamed launch event for the iPhone 9 (and a number of other products we expected to see during this month), remains to be seen.
We’d also hoped to see the new Apple AirTags (a location tracking tag similar to the Tile range). There have also been plentiful rumours of updated iPad Pro and MacBook Pro models, and Apple-branded over-ear headphones.
The situation is said to be fluid, according to the source, and Apple’s plans could yet change again. However, the bottom line here is that if you’re anxiously awaiting the iPhone 9, the wait is set to continue into the spring.